By Sam Bush

Nats reliever Sean Doolittle, had been tested yesterday for COVID-19. Just like Major League Baseball’s protocols promised, he’d been tested two days after the last.

He’d worked for three months to prepare himself for baseball, to show up for teammates and himself, to earn his living, maybe to have a little fun. He’d leaned out in the saddle of his road bike, logging 30 miles several times a week, and regularly thrown into a net. “I feel ready to go,” he said, “but, you know, as I sit here talking to you guys …”

He reached into his pocket, withdrew his phone, held it in front of his face and pecked at the screen.

“Let me. Hold on. Let me check something,” he said.

He flicked with his forefinger.

“Yeah, as I sit here talking to you guys, I still don’t have my test results from Friday’s test,” he said. “So, like, I got tested again this morning without knowing the results of my test from Friday. So, we gotta clean that up. Right? So that’s one thing that makes me a little nervous.”

That’s when the phone hit the table, a clunk that asked what’re we all doing here, a thud that echoed across a baseball landscape of daily positive tests and opt-outs, a clonk that sees a country too selfish or entitled or political or blind to play along and a league that, according to Doolittle, has not furnished Nationals personnel with the proper gear — masks, gowns, gloves — to ward off sickness.

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