The MLB season has only begun its new and shortened season, but soon, the league may have to shut down. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but left and right, games are now being delayed due to players testing positive for the coronavirus. Now, the league may be bracing itself to call off the 2020 season.
Could the MLB Season End?
Within a week of the league starting the 2020 season, commissioner Rob Manfred has already issued a warning (via ESPN). Today, Manfred cautioned the player’s union about calling things off, following players from the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies testing positive for COVID-19.
Manfred warned the player’s union that if more tests were positive, and if players ignored the safety protocols, the season would be called off as early as Monday. Apparently, more than a few players haven’t been sticking to a 113-page manual about playing safely. Too many players aren’t wearing masks, are high-fiving , or even spitting, observers have noticed.
Six Teams Not Playing
Today may spell doom for the MLB. A total of six teams are not playing their scheduled games today due to COVID-19. If a bunch of players test positive across all six teams, how could they play for the next few weeks? It may be impossible, which the league is now realizing.
State and local governments are apparently currently puzzled by the MLB, trying to get them to follow the rules, too. Not all players are taking COVID-19 as seriously as they should be, which is a major part of the problem right now. Hopefully, the NBA and the NHL fare better with their players.
Today, the league performed around 1,200 tests for COVID-19. 29 of the tests came out positive, which is .2 percent. 21 of the positive tests came from the Miami Marlins alone. They were the first team to have to cancel games, followed by Philly. Originally, the Marlins had only four players test positive. A few days later, 18 players had the coronavirus, which is surging in the United States, not slowing down.
Right now, games played by the Baltimore Orioles, the Washington Nationals, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the New York Yankees have been postponed. St. Louis Cardinals had to postpone games as well after two of their players tested positive. The organization released the following statement:
The rescheduling as a result of two positive COVID-19 tests in the Cardinals’ organization is consistent with protocols to allow enough time for additional testing and contact tracing to be conducted.
Other Teams Response
Clearly, all the teams can do right now is follow protocols and hope for the best. Team managers and owners have been vocally supportive of doing whatever is best, including Brewers president/GM David Stearns:
“We are supportive of Major League Baseball’s decision to postpone today’s game and look forward to playing our home opener as soon as conditions safely allow. The health and safety of our players and employees are, and will continue to be, our top priorities.”
Brewers’ owner, Mark Attanasio, said all the team can do is be smart and do their part:
“We’re all committed, I believe — and I’ve talked to a number of players today — to finishing the season,” Attanasio said. “Insofar as we can continue to provide some enjoyment for our fans, I think that’s something we’re all committed to doing. … If we’re not smart and safe, then we’ll fail. But we’re doing everything we can not to fail.”
Hopefully, the league was prepared for a moment of crisis such as this and can move forward safely. It’s hard to be optimistic right now about much of anything, though. Ideally, the MLB, NHL, and NBA can keep us entertained throughout the summer and beyond, but following the start of the MLB’s season, the odds of that aren’t looking good.