Archie Bradley: D-backs’ responsibility is to be ‘shining light’ for Arizona

Jul 10, 2020, 1:49 PM | Updated: 1:50 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley throws during an intrasquad baseball game at Chase Fiel...

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley throws during an intrasquad baseball game at Chase Field Monday, July 6, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley believes that his teammates have held one another accountable since their spring training came to a halt in March.

They stayed in touch with remote meetings and text threads, returning in shape as training camp restarted this month. The D-backs met early on, vowing to stay out of harm’s way as coronavirus cases spiked locally in the Phoenix area.

Five D-backs on the 60-man roster for 2020 have tested positive for the virus, while others in the organization have also tested positive. Bradley, though, is confident that Arizona’s players and staff are doing everything to stay safe.

“We talk about it every year in a different term, like the team that stays the healthiest is going to win, right? That holds true now more than ever,” Bradley told Bickley & Marotta Friday on Arizona Sports.

“From the staff to our coaches to our players, we have all had a team meeting and made a commitment. It’s two months of the season, three months of the season. If we can’t lock it in and come together truly for the greater good of baseball, the greater good of the sport … Arizona’s a tough place right now. There’s people dying every day, the sickness is wrecking the state. What a chance for us to hone in and be the shining light in this state and this country and baseball.”

In Major League Baseball, testing has had its hiccups as camps ramped up with false positives and lab delays that impacted some practices earlier in the week.

MLB on Friday released intake screening statistics and the follow-up monitoring tests through Thursday. It said the positive test total is 83, which is 0.7% of 11,149 samples taken since June 27. Twenty-eight MLB clubs are represented in the positive totals.

For the D-backs, being responsible is a battle that will continue so long as the baseball season remains on schedule.

Locally in Arizona, the case-count on Friday increased by 4,221 with 44 additional deaths, putting the state’s totals at 116,892 COVID-19 cases and 2,082 fatalities.

The new case total, which does not represent the last 24 hours and includes lagging confirmed counts, was the fourth highest for Arizona.

With the local outbreak in Arizona, the D-backs can only stick to practicing social distancing and wearing masks during their scrimmages and workouts. Then, they have to stay out of harm’s way when their day at Chase Field is over.

Bradley saw the impact of coronavirus first hand. His father was hospitalized due to symptoms it caused, while his mother and brother also got less serious complications from being infected. All are well now, but it put the game of baseball in perspective.

Bradley sees the big picture as a challenge for his baseball team — one he believes the Diamondbacks are up for.

“With everything that’s gone on, the social injustice, the testing, the corona, everything that’s happening, let the Diamondbacks, let baseball be the thing that brings us all together,” he said. “We have a huge amount of responsibility and accountability on top of us to hold each other accountable, to not go out, to not put ourselves in situations where we could contract the virus and to hold true to our goal of staying together.

“(GM Mike) Hazen said it best, man: 60 games, 100 games, whatever it is, we’re going to take that trophy, we’re going to go win it and we aren’t going to feel bad we only played 60 games to be World Series champs. That’s everyone’s goal and focus here. I think being responsible and doing things the right way is a no-brainer for us.”

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