Alex Anthopoulos, the Atlanta Braves general manager, said the organization’s players on the Major League side and Minor League side will have a light workout Friday and will take the next two days off before reconvening Monday. Anthopoulos said some players might leave North Port, Fla., but they all have been instructed by the team’s medical staff on the pandemic.
When they go they better not take with them the attitude of Philadelphia slugger Bryce Harper, or else when the season does start-if it does start-somebody might be sick.
Harper said this outside the Phillies clubhouse this week, as per NBC/Philadelphia:
“I live, man. I don’t worry about a disease or a virus. I live my life. I’m doing everything the same. I’m shaking people’s hands, I’m high-fiving. I’m healthy. I’m 27. The people that are affected, it’s a lot of older and maybe some young, as well. But I just live my life.”
To be fair, Harper’s comments came before the alarm bells went off around the country and MLB announced a suspension of play. He wasn’t the only athletes showing bravado. Presumably, since Tuesday, Harper has been made to understand the seriousness of the situation and the threat of one player being sick.
As for the Braves, Anthopoulos said the players in the organization understand the seriousness of the health issues. “There is no doubt about it,” he said. Nonetheless, he said some players feel they need to leave North Port. He mentioned players going to Miami and Atlanta.
“But right now, for the most part, our players are staying here,” he said.
The Braves GM said he is not aware of anyone in the organization that has tested positive.
Anthopoulos said players were going to get some hitting in Friday, and some throwing to keep their arms in shape. He said the complex would undergo a deep cleaning over the weekend.
“I think everyone understands circumstances right now,” Anthopoulos said. “No one’s ever faced anything like this. And, you know, I think everyone knows that things are fluid and things are changing.
“But we know things, if you just look at the way this week’s gone, how much things have changed. So, this point, we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves.”
The Braves, the defending NL East Division champions, have some issues to resolve in spring training, if it resumes. Who is going to play third base? Who are the No. 4 and No. 5 starters? What’s wrong with former All-Star reliever Shane Greene?
None of it was discussed in Friday’s meeting, the GM said.
“Honestly we have not talked baseball at all,” Anthopoulos said. “Our discussions today have just been about what’s going on in the world right now; talking about our families, just sitting around the clubhouse, talking to players, talking to coaches, talking to staff.
“Today was not a day, in our minds, to get into baseball. We’re all feeling it; the weight of emotion right now.”