Rob Manfred wasn’t willing to call the season when the Marlins had an outbreak of coronavirus. It doesn’t seem like he’s willing to call it because of another outbreak in the Cardinals clubhouse. He is, however, willing to pull the plug if players don’t strictly follow the COVID-19 health and safety protocols to a tee moving forward.
The MLB commissioner told MLBPA chief executive director Tony Clark if players and teams don’t do better at managing and trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus, he would shut down the season according to an ESPN report.
Following the lengthy guidelines set by the league and agreed upon by the players’ union has already been a problem. The Daily News has reported multiple instances, including the Yankees’ Thursday rain delay, where social distancing and mask wearing have been problematic. Players have still be high-fiving around the league, gathering in groups and even almost getting into a benches-clearing brawl in the Dodgers-Astros game.
The league is also investigating a report that the virus spread through the Marlins clubhouse came from a player or players who did not follow the league’s recommended avoiding public social places like bars and night clubs when out of stadiums.
“There are some bad decisions being made,” an ESPN source labeled as “a high-ranking official” said.
MLB, on Friday, reported 29 new cases (players and staff) of COVID-19 recorded from tests based on Thursday’s numbers. Since the league started testing, they’ve had 128 positive COVID-19 tests (104 players).
The Marlins’ 18 players who tested positive for COVID-19 over Opening Weekend to Thursday, are on a bus on their way back to Miami after being forced to quarantine at their Philadelphia hotel. They won a three-day series against the Phillies before the severity of the outbreak in the Marlins’ clubhouse became apparent. Marlins players with negative COVID-19 tests are staying in Philadelphia for now. Both teams have postponed almost two week’s-worth of games in an abundance of caution.
Friday’s Cardinals-Brewers game was postponed after two players on St. Louis’ team were diagnosed with the virus.
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