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Renfroe, MLB Debate: Were Sox Told to Stop Testing?

Brock Fritz

Major League Baseball officials are denying Boston outfielder Hunter Renfroe’s allegations that the league told the Red Sox to stop testing for COVID-19 amid their ongoing outbreak.

The back-and-forth started Sept. 9, when Renfroe told WEEI that “MLB basically told us to stop the testing and just treat the symptoms. And we were like, 'No, we're going to figure out what's going on and keep trying to keep this thing under control.'"

MLB and the Red Sox both refuted Renfroe’s claims that the team was instructed to stop testing and keep playing through the outbreak, which has affected more than 10 players. An MLB spokesperson told The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams “He (Renfroe) is completely wrong and inaccurate.”

“We have been following MLB’s COVID-19 protocols all season long. We have consulted closely with them on everything we’ve done and continue to test and their medical staff has been very supportive,” a Red Sox spokesperson told MassLive.com.

Renfroe doubled down on his comments Friday, according to The Boston Globe.

“I’m not taking back what I said. I can tell you that,” Renfroe said. “What I said was true. I’m not going to lie about anything.”

According to WCVB5, utility player Danny Santana recently tested positive and returned to the COVID-19-related injury list Saturday, just four days after being removed from the list. Santana’s addition puts 10 Red Sox players currently on the list, including  Chris Sale, Matt Barnes, Nick Pivetta, Jarren Duran, Christian Arroyo,  Hirokazu Sawamura,  Martín Pérez, Jonathan Araúz and Yairo Muñoz.

The Red Sox’s outbreak began during a road trip, while manager Alex Cora said many players stayed in hotels even after returning to Boston.

“Everybody got kind of thrown under the bus with us having a COVID outbreak,” Renfroe said. “It could have been stopped if we could have possibly not played like one of the games in Cleveland and took a day and did the extra testing and kind of figured it out. When we played the Yankees and played Toronto they had outbreaks, we canceled the game and played a doubleheader.”

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