The Giants were set to face two righties for Sunday’s doubleheader in San Diego, meaning Alex Dickerson likely had 14 innings to play.
He is healthy enough to play, his Thursday COVID-19 test believed to have been a false positive, and the six or seven ensuing tests conducted over the past 48 hours all negative.
He will be playing on very little sleep, though, and it would be understandable if the mental toll is much more difficult to get over than the self-isolation that has been his life for this weekend.
Dickerson confirmed his test was the positive that postponed Friday and Saturday’s games, being removed from the field on the former day minutes before gametime and moved into isolation at Petco Park. Rapid testing was done with him and his teammates and the Giants staff, all found to be negative. The Padres lent the Giants some testing materials, a fact that both Farhan Zaidi and Dickerson made sure to publicly appreciate, and Dickerson also went to UCSD for additional tests.
It was a mental drain that was exacerbated by a wife who is close to giving birth and a report that smeared him.
Dickerson’s wife is on bedrest in San Diego, where he is from, about to give birth to the couple’s first child, a boy. Reports emerged that 1) Dickerson was responsible for the positive test and 2) he may have broken protocol, which he called “completely false.”
A USA Today story that an emotional Dickerson read from during a Sunday Zoom stated “the player, who remains unidentified, told several members of the Giants’ traveling party that he believed he was possibly infected by a family member or friend in San Diego.”
Dickerson spoke haltingly as he explained he did not skirt rules, did not even suspect his positive test was legitimate and watched helplessly as rumors circulated about a player who stays away from social media.
“Those kind of statements lead to a steamrolling effect that caused my wife, who is 39 weeks pregnant, to deal with a lot of stuff she did not deserve to deal with. It was not easy,” said Dickerson, a mild-mannered and relaxed player and person. “… It caused a lot of problems, and a lot of hate can come toward you. And that was kind of unwarranted.”
Outside of the Giants, Dickerson has only seen his wife, and his wife has only seen her mother over the past month, all of them testing negative.
The positive test, Dickerson said, came as a “complete shock.” He assumed from the start it was a false positive and underwent both PCR and saliva tests to confirm his health, and the Giants did not have a firm explanation.
“It’s impossible to say if the sample was contaminated at some point, whether that was during collection, during transit, at the lab itself,” Zaidi said before Sunday’s action. “Or the possibility that it was a positive, and the individual is now just completely clear.”
Zaidi said MLB testers have dealt with these anomalous positives “a handful of times,” which gave the Giants, Padres and the league “confidence that we could go go ahead today safe.”
The Dickersons made it to the other side, concerns abounding about the stresses spurring his wife, who is due this week, into labor. He wants to be there for the birth and is not certain the logistics and dates, as the Giants will travel back to Seattle after this series concludes to play games Tuesday and Wednesday.
He and his family can move forward after a weekend from hell.
“It was very stressful, didn’t sleep much,” Dickerson said. “But that’s the year we’re having, and a lot of people have it very tough right now. This is just where you find out how to how to get through things.”