Tribe's Ramírez, Reyes break protocol, isolate

March 7th, 2021

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians didn’t think twice about isolating , and in 2020 when each of them broke COVID-19 protocols on different occasions. Now, the team finds itself in the same position in 2021.

Reyes and José Ramírez were sent home from the Tribe’s Spring Training facility on Saturday morning after they reported that they had eaten inside a local restaurant after Friday's game, according to Indians manager Terry Francona.

The Tribe’s medical staff first learned of Reyes getting a haircut in the area and asked him about it, which is when he volunteered the information about also going to dinner.

“We sent them home,” Francona said before the Tribe's 9-4 loss to the A's, “and we self-reported to the league what they did and then turned it over to the league and we’re waiting to hear back how we need [to handle incorporating them back into the team]. They have not had access to us from that time.”

Cleveland went through this process during Summer Camp last July, when Reyes was forced to quarantine after he attended a Fourth of July party without wearing a mask. When Reyes returned, he said that he understood how risky his behavior was and swore it wouldn’t happen again. The Tribe didn’t run into any other issues with protocols until Plesac and Clevinger were caught breaking curfew in Chicago in August after spending a night out with friends.

The Indians didn’t have any positive COVID-19 tests during the 2020 season, and the club has been serious about assuring -- to the best of its ability -- that it won’t have any major COVID-related setbacks in 2021, either. 

“We spoke to both of them,” Francona said. “They were both upfront and honest with us about what happened. I think it’s probably, how we deal with it [will] probably [be] a little bit different. Franmil, this is kind of a repeat offender.

“Again, we’re not trying to put guys in a penalty box. We try to talk to guys almost every day that this is gonna happen. It doesn’t matter whether you agree with it or not, these are the protocols that are in place, and we’ve got to live by it.”

Francona said that Reyes and Ramírez have both been retested, and now the Tribe is hoping that it will learn more from MLB by Sunday night.

“Everybody wants to get rid of their mask, and it would be nice to go sit in a restaurant,” Francona said. “Those aren’t the conditions we’re playing under. Also, these guys are young and it’s not normal to be cooped up. It doesn’t have to be just baseball. It’s everybody. It’s life. But these are the rules we’re playing under, and the more we follow them, the better chance it gets us to be a complete baseball team.”