Cubs grateful to avoid COVID-19 all season
There was an interesting contrast in stories Friday morning, considering the news that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump said they tested positive for COVID-19.
The Miami Marlins had the first significant outbreak of the baseball season, with 18 players testing positive in July, while the Cubs went the entire season without a single positive test for the coronavirus.
Before Friday's game, Kyle Schwarber mentioned how hearing the experiences of pitching coach Tommy Hottovy, who was sick with COVID-19 during the hiatus, affected the Cubs. Quality assurance coach Mike Napoli missed the beginning of the season after testing positive.
"For us personally in this organization, we know how real it is," Schwarber said. "To hear their stories and be able to know this is real, I think we were able to put ourselves in a really good spot, just because we were able to lean off experiences.
"So to see the President and the First Lady get it, you think that's just not possible because they're the President and the First Lady and they're probably the most safe people in the United States and they get it. I think it's just showing to the world that this is real."
This has been a theme around the Cubs all season. Obviously, there is luck involved when it comes to catching the virus, but they set out to decrease their chances by wearing masks in the clubhouse, staying home when they leave Wrigley Field and limiting personal contact during road trips.
"I'm very proud of these guys for that and being responsible and being accountable to one another," manager David Ross said. "I think that what talks about the character of the group that's in the room."
The Marlins' outbreak happened during the first weekend of the season in Philadelphia, involved many of their key players and kept them off the field for eight days. But this week there's been plenty of talk about how the rough journey made the Marlins more resilient. The Cubs can't relate.
"I think we can look ourselves in the mirror and be really proud of ourselves, knowing that we took care of each other, we took care of ourselves, we took care of our families, we made sacrifices and we should be really happy where we're at," Schwarber said.