TAYLOR COUNTY—Unless conditions improve drastically in the next few weeks (or even days), Major League Baseball might call it quits much sooner than expected after it’s shortened 2020 season hit COVID-19 snags almost immediately.
According to a report on Friday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred voiced concerns to the MLBPA after the Brewers and Cardinals postponed their Friday game because of positive COVID-19 tests within the organizations.
Those two join the Marlins, Nationals, and Phillies as teams who were unable to play this past weekend. Manfred has also reportedly threatened to ultimately shut down the season if things get worse.
Per ESPN, “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. 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 Opening Day obviously isn’t where anyone associated with the league hoped it would be when MLB resumed play.
But the Phillies have been off all week after their series with both the Yankees and the Blue Jays were postponed, and the Marlins recorded more than a dozen positive tests within the organization after their season-opening series with the Phillies.
ESPN’s report on Friday seemed to focus on the players’ role in keeping baseball’s season alive, as there is legitimate concern about off-the-field choices being made, with one high-ranking official saying, “there are some bad decisions being made.”
One report stated that the Marlins outbreak may have arose from players going out at night in Atlanta, just days before the season began.
The Phillies canceled all activities at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday until further notice. Their season is set to resume on Monday against the Yankees, but those games could be postponed or canceled as well.