On September 9, Boston Red Sox right fielder Hunter Renfroe was a guest interview on the newly dubbed “Merloni & Fauria” show on WEEI’s 93.7 FM (103.7 FM) radio airwaves. The interview started off like any other between sports radio hosts and a current athlete: the hosts asked specific questions about the current state of the locker room and how the team is managing their current situation.
For those who do not know, the Red Sox have been dealing with tons of positive COVID tests dating back to August 27, when the vaccinated Kike Hernandez was the first domino to fall which led to an outbreak in the clubhouse.
Since Kike’s positive test on August 27, there have been 12 more positive results. When the team needed a break the most, they got the exact opposite as important players like Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Xander Bogaerts, Hirokazu Sawamura, Christian Arroyo, Martin Perez and Matt Barnes all were on that list of positive players at one point or another. How is a team, who is in the middle of a playoff race, supposed to survive and keep battling when 13 players go on the COVID IL?
Well, this team has somehow someway done it. They are currently in a heated battle for the top Wild Card spot with both the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees. The division title has long been won by the Tampa Bay Rays but for the Red Sox to battle it out with two other division opponents all-the-while dealing with a COVID outbreak is something to behold.
Could MLB be to thank for keeping this team together through an unprecedented time? Who knows- but what is known and should be talked about more is the fact that Hunter Renfroe went on a very publicized radio station and had this to say, “MLB basically told us to stop the testing and just treat the symptoms. We’re like ‘No. We’re gonna figure out what’s going on and keep this thing under control.” To which host Lou Merloni replied, “MLB asked you to stop testing?” “Yes,” Renfroe followed.
The reaction from Merloni, a former Red Sox player himself, says all anyone needs to know about Renfroe’s insight. Following the current Red Sox right fielders’ remarks, Merloni looks to his co-host Christian Fauria and mouths “wow” to him with a look of pure shock on his face.
Since this interview MLB has come out and said that Renfroe misspoke and was not given the right information. To that I ask; Why would a star player, for a historic franchise, currently in the playoff mix, come out and make a statement like that if he did not have his facts straight? The situation was only made worse when MLB used a bush league excuse and tried to “prove” Renfroe was wrong by saying that the team has in fact continued testing and that is why the Red Sox players comments were untrue.
The MLB deliberately went out of their way to try and get the public to believe them but nobody knows who is right or wrong in this situation.