Pitcher Mike Clevinger has been swiftly punished for violating quarantine protocols earlier this month by escaping the Cleveland Indians’ team hotel, leaving team-mate Zach Plesac protesting the pair’s innocence over the scandal.
Clevinger and his fellow pitcher caused outrage in the Indians’ camp when they left the hotel to meet friends in Chicago, only for Plesac to be caught by MLB security and banned from returning to Cleveland on the team plane.
The team allowed Clevinger to join the journey home because he was not spotted by security staff, incurring their fury when they subsequently discovered that he had breached quarantine rules.
While Plesac has been exiled from the team indefinitely, Clevinger has been traded to San Diego Padres in a major signing for his new team that will reportedly see pitcher Cal Quantrill, shortstop Gabriel Arias, outfielder Josh Naylor and catcher Austin Hedges move in the opposite direction.
San Diego is getting a little more Sunshine.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 31, 2020
Voicing his anger after the Indians were thrashed 7-1 by the Chicago Cubs, pitcher Adam Plutko admitted: “They hurt us bad. They lied to us.
“They publicly said things that they didn’t follow through on. The term that I’ve continued to here is ‘grown-ass man’, right?
“Those grown-ass men can tell [the media] what happened and what they’re going to do to fix it.”
Neither player has tested positive for coronavirus since their transgression, and Plesac pleaded their case on Instagram, criticizing the media coverage of the drama.
“The media really is terrible and they do some evil things to create stories and make things sound worse,” he argued.
“We were not with more than eight people the other night. The media is portraying me and my best friend and team-mate as being malicious.
“According to the [official] guidelines for corona, we were practising safely in a small group with people who we know have been tested.
“We’ve been exposed as being bad people, bad team-mates and dragged across the mud. It’s hard with people not knowing the truth.
“I understand that people are taking risks to play this game and the last thing I would want to do is put anyone at risk.
“I know how important it is that we must follow safety procedures for the safety of the group.
“It breaks my heart for people to think that I’m a bad team-mate or person.”
Plesac only made his MLB debut last year and believes that he still has a future in the team, adding that the team guidelines had changed without the duo realizing.
“I want to win baseball games,” he said. “That’s all I want to do.
“Whatever it takes for me to get back and start shoving it up people, I’ll be ready when they need me.
“This whole thing got blown into a case study on coronavirus.”
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