Zach Plesac couldn’t let his statement Sunday stand. He had to express his truth, unfiltered, about being sent home by his team after violating MLB’s new COVID-19 protocols.
Plesac said his night out with friends and teammate Mike Clevinger in Chicago last Saturday was OK because everyone had been tested, the group was under 10 people and people maintained proper social distancing. He admitted breaking curfew, but that was his only major concession.
He thought it was unrealistic to keep people isolated. “You can’t sit in a room all day, is the truth of the matter,” he said.
He took shots at “the media,” without backing up what he said, because he feels he has been wrongly dragged. He’s not happy about being branded a bad teammate and a bad person.
“The media really is terrible, man. The media’s terrible, and they do some evil things to create stories and make things sound better, make things sound worse. And truthfully, I’m disgusted the way the media’s handled this whole situation surrounding our team,” he said into a camera while driving. “And this is why, based on my feelings, I want to get out here and express the truth to you guys and moving forward kind of the learning experience and maybe some things taken away from this whole experience.”
What happened to “I made a poor choice to leave the hotel, which broke protocols and could have endangered other people”? That’s what was sent out Sunday. He could have left it at that.
Here’s a thought: Maybe Plesac should have reviewed what his manager and teammates have said on the record to reporters this week about the “experience” before trying to paint himself as a victim.
“This one kind of hurts. And we talked about it as a team even today. We’ll deal with it like we always do. We care about each other. It doesn’t mean you don’t get disappointed with each other or even mad at each other sometimes. But what I care about is making it better. Not being vindictive, just trying to figure out how do we make this better so it doesn’t happen again.”
“We love Zach, we support him, but he screwed up. We’re going to handle this in house and we’ll see where it goes from here.”
“[Plesac and Clevinger] hurt us bad. They lied to us. They sat here in front of you guys and publicly said things that they didn’t follow through on (referring to the pitchers’ previous statements about not wanting to go out). . . . So those ‘grown-ass men’ can sit here and tell you guys what happened and tell you guys what they’re gonna do to fix it. I don’t need to do that for them.”
“At the end of the day, we have to sit and look ourselves in the mirror. And it’s not about the person you see in the mirror, it’s about who’s behind you, the other people.”
Plesac, who’s on the team’s restricted list with Clevinger after being placed in quarantine, said in the video that his younger brother has Type 1 diabetes and his mother is a nurse — which, in theory, should have made him more cautious. Instead, he thought he was being careful by going out with a small, trusted group and staying distant.
“It breaks my heart for people to think I’m a bad teammate or a bad person, but I wanted to share with you guys, you know, that, moving forward, there’s a selflessness lesson taught here,” he said. “And at the end of the day I want everybody to be healthy. I want to be a good teammate. I want to win baseball games, man. That’s all I want to do.”
He can make his teammates happier, and help himself, by making these his final public statements on the matter.