New York Mets' Chris Bassitt says Major League Baseball should 'stop testing' for COVID-19

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Friday, July 8, 2022

NEW YORK --New York Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt said Thursday he "probably won't" inform team and Major League Baseball officials if he feels COVID-19 symptoms in the future and that MLB should "just stop testing."

Bassitt was placed on the COVID-19 list on July 1 after complaining about sluggishness to team officials. The right-hander missed his scheduled start against Texas last Friday and only rejoined the team Thursday.

"I probably won't (again)," Bassitt said before the Mets' series opener against the Miami Marlins. "There's no way. There's no reason."

Bassitt claimed he was asymptomatic.

"Just stop testing. Stop acting like COVID is far worse than a lot of other things," he said. "I was never sick."

He noted that under MLB's protocols, a positive test could mean ongoing testing that keeps an asymptomatic player out for an extended period.

"I guess the answer is I never should have said anything," he said.

Baseball's policy is to test "in symptomatic situations or when a player is in close contact,'' Mike Teevan, an MLB spokesman, wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

Bassitt explained he tested himself after feeling sluggish because he has a daughter.

"If I can somewhat be safe I will. I tested myself. It was positive. So I basically had the choice to tell them so I can protect my teammates or not say anything and (put) my teammates at risk. I never had a symptom. I woke up perfectly fine the next day. Have not had a symptom since," he said.

Bassitt (6-5, 4.01 ERA), whom the Mets acquired in an offseason trade with Oakland, is scheduled to start Friday.