Joey Gallo's negative COVID-19 tests seem hopeful, but MLB can't make exceptions

Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Baseball

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Fifty-six of the 58 players on the Texas Rangers' roster for summer camp have been cleared to participate after testing negative for COVID-19 in the pre-camp screening process.

One of the final stragglers, though for reasons unknown, was Ronald Guzman, who was in the lineup Wednesday in a simulated game at Globe Life Field.

The problem is that one of the two players who tested positive for COVID-19 is Joey Gallo, the Rangers' best player. Left-handed reliever Brett Martin is the other player.

Complicating the Gallo situation is that he is asymptomatic, feels great, and, oh, by the way, has tested negative twice in private testing outside of the 2020 MLB operations manual.

MLB's system uses saliva tests, which produced two Gallo positives, and it is that system that must produce two negatives before he can return. Adding to the frustration is that the private tests that produced the negatives were conducted with nasal swabbing, a procedure that MLB does not use.

Furthermore, the Salt Lake City site -- the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory -- uses an extra layer of testing to guard against a false-positive result.


"One of those tests is lying," left fielder Willie Calhoun tweeted.

MLB sees the positive results as the truth, and so there's nothing Gallo and the Rangers can do.

The good news is that Gallo's first positive test was taken June 27, so he's been quarantined for nearly two weeks and should be testing negative soon.

But the MLB system is the system, and it must be standardized for every player on all 30 teams.


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