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Indians’ Franmil Reyes apologizes for not wearing mask at party

Cleveland Indians outfielder Franmil Reyes has issued an apology for being pulled out of camp this week after the team learned he did not wear a mask or practice social distancing at a recent social event.

The Indians confirmed Tuesday that Reyes was quarantined away from the team after the discovery of images on social media that showed him at a Fourth of July party not wearing a mask, potentially exposing him to COVID-19 and risking transmission within the team.

After a brief time away from Progressive Field, Reyes was allowed to resume on-field activities Wednesday after testing negative for the coronavirus in two tests.

While Reyes is back in the fold, he nevertheless understands why the Indians isolated him from the rest of the team.

“They did the right thing they have to do to protect us,” Reyes said Thursday, per an ESPN AP report. “I really apologize because I was not protecting myself and my teammates. I learned from it and it won’t happen again. I really don’t want to stop practicing. I really apologize about that.”

Reyes went on to admit it was a hard lesson learned, and that players bear the responsibility in preventing a potential outbreak.

“It’s really important to protect ourselves when you go out there,” Reyes said. “Not just thinking about you, you have a lot of teammates here that are ready to go, ready to give their 100 percent for the season and it’s really risky when people do the things I was doing on Saturday. So, I really apologize and I swear it won’t happen again.”

Major League Baseball and the MLBPA announced Friday that 58 players and eight staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in the final round of intake testing, which amounts to a 1.8% rate of infection.

As Reyes pointed out in his comments, the onus will be on players to exercise extreme caution in the coming months to ensure a team- or league-wide outbreak doesn’t compromise the completion of the abbreviated 60-game MLB season.