Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez, Franmil Reyes return to complex, address COVID-19 situation with team

Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes both addressed the team upon returning to the complex Tuesday after the pair was sent home following a self-reported breach to the team’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Following Cleveland’s Cactus League game against the Chicago Cubs, Reyes went for a haircut. He was then asked about it by the team’s medical staff, and at that time self reported that he and Ramirez also went to dinner with some other people inside a restaurant, a violation of the protocols.

Ramirez and Reyes missed a few days but were able to return to the team’s spring training complex on Tuesday following negative COVID-19 tests. They also addressed the team.

“I was actually really proud of them both,” said manager Terry Francona on a Zoom call. “I know they missed some time and that’s not what we’re shooting for, but I was actually really proud of them. … We talked about it with the players. What I would say about it is that because we’re a team — and we told the guys this — through thick and thin, or good and bad, we’re a team.”

Jose Ramirez tand Franmil Reyes rejoined the team after being banned for breaking COVID-19 protocols.

“José and Franmil both addressed the team and in a very thoughtful and sincere way. Other than that, I’d like to just keep it in-house. I think any time we choose to do that, I think that’s the best way. The idea is never to embarrass anybody, and I explained that to José and Franmil. I’m really comfortable where we are right now.”

Francona said a few days ago he understands how everybody wants to get rid of their mask and get back to normal, but that it’s not the situation in which they’re living. The league has also put steeper restrictions in place above many local and state governments in order to help ensure a season can be put together.

Last season was largely a success for Major League Baseball, though it came with a slew of headaches, issues and scheduling changes to make it possible. Cleveland ran into an issue of its own when Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac broke the health and safety protocols, leading to both being sent to the team’s alternate site following a team meeting. The team’s message has been about personal responsibility and remaining diligent.

“Whether you agree or disagree, it’s still, if you don’t abide by it, it could affect our team,” Francona said. “And that’s the biggest thing you try to explain to them. If we follow the rules, one, we’re gonna put the majority of people in a much safer position, but also, we’re not gonna have players miss time, which is also good.”

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