Major League Baseball’s shortened 2020 season hit COVID-19 snags almost immediately, and if things don’t improve, the league might call it quits much sooner than expected.
According to a report Friday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred communicated concerns to the MLB Players Association after the Brewers and Cardinals postponed their Friday game because of positive COVID-19 tests.
Those two join the Phillies, Marlins, and Nationals as teams stuck watching instead of playing baseball this weekend – and if things get worse, Manfred reportedly isn’t afraid to “shut down” the 2020 season.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark on Friday that if the sport doesn’t do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could shut down for the season, sources familiar with the conversation told ESPN.
Multiple players briefed on the call fear the season could be shut down as soon as Monday if positive tests jump or if players continue not to strictly abide by the league’s protocols.
Seeing the season in jeopardy just eight days after the Nationals and Yankees opened play obviously isn’t where Manfred, or anyone in baseball, hoped would happen when MLB resumed action.
But the Marlins saw more than a dozen positive tests within the organization after their season-opening series with the Phillies, and the Phillies have been off all week after their series with the Yankees and Blue Jays were both postponed.
Bob Nightengale reported this week that the Marlins outbreak may have stemmed from a few players going out at night in Atlanta, days before the season began.
And ESPN’s report Friday seemed to focus on the players’ role in keeping baseball’s season alive:
Further, there is concern about off-the-field choices, with one high-ranking official saying: ‘There are some bad decisions being made.’
The Phillies canceled all activity at Citizens Bank Park Thursday until further notice. For now, the Phillies’ season is set to resume on Monday against the Yankees.
But those games, too, could be postponed or cancelled. Here’s hoping the league figures things out.
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