Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred made a call to Tony Clark and the Major League Baseball Players Association on Friday and said that there’s a chance the season could be shut down if there’s not a better management of COVID-19 within the sport. Jeff Passan of ESPN had the report first.

We are only one week, or one week and one day into the season depending on which team you’re looking at, but we’ve already had one team have a massive outbreak – the Miami Marlins have had more than half of their active roster test positive for COVID-19, along with several coaches. That’s led to the postponement of plenty of games, rearranging the schedule for some other teams. And while we don’t know if they are responsible for it or not, the Marlins opening weekend opponent, the Philadelphia Phillies, have had one coach and one clubhouse attendant test positive as well. Their games are currently postponed, too. Earlier this afternoon the St. Louis Cardinals had two positive tests and their game today was also postponed against Milwaukee.

State and local governments have pressured baseball about players skirting the mandates outlined in the league’s 113-page operations manual, sources told ESPN. Broadcasts that have shown players not wearing masks, high-fiving and spitting have left government officials wondering how seriously players are taking the protocols, sources said.

Habits are tough to break, for sure. Spitting is something you tend to do without thinking. High fives? Those are happening after the moment that got you excited enough to want to high five in the first place. You’ve got to think about that one before someone gets back to the dugout, or the on-deck circle after scoring a run and the next batter is waiting to give them a high five. As for the masks not being worn when and where they should be – perhaps the new protocol officer that’s being put in charge with each team will help alleviate that issue. No matter what, though, things have to get better or we aren’t going to get much more baseball.

27 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    The behavior of MLB players off the field of play may determine how (if) this season plays out.

    Bob Nightengale (the elder) dropped this (see link) that the Marlins outbreak could perhaps be traced back to a team night out in Atlanta.

    https://twitter.com/fishstripes/status/1288239374543532033

    True or not … MLB since has since instituted “hall monitors” at the hotels.

    • Old-school

      I saw same post. Why isn’t Nightengales story getting traction?

    • Steve

      I make a post about critical thinking and it’s taken down. WHY?

      • Doug Gray

        You made a post insulting another user, that’s why.

  2. Roger Garrett

    I never expected it to start to be honest Some don’t wear a mask even while in the dugout with the world now watching via TV and well social distancing isn’t being maintained in some cases.I see the same things as do others when I go to the grocery store or even church because all of us are people.To think that MLB players would do a better job then the rest of our country is well not reality.Mandates mean nothing unless they are enforced with fines or suspensions and we know that is not going to happen.MLBPA will not stand for that.

    • MrRed

      You may be right, Roger, that MLBPA will not stand for that, but so shall they fall and with it goes the season and player’s compensation. It may not be easy, but I bet they can adopt appropriate measures with a little more added focus.

  3. Eric the Red

    Considering what’s at stake—you know, life, death, and billions of dollars—it shouldn’t be that hard to tell people “stop touching each other unless you really really have to” and “stop spitting”. Have a fan vote on “what should our non-contact homerun celebration be? Jazz hands? Everyone in the dugout spins around three times? The on deck guy bows to the guy who hit the homerun instead of high fiving?” Whatever.

    Just. Stop. Touching. And try not to breathe too much of the same air. Or the golden goose may get killed, or at least suffer permanent lung impairment.

  4. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Actually, I believe the COVID management is about as good as can be expected, especially with what leadership the country has under this pandemic.

    This is simply COVID. It’s like the flu. Only, this one is more contagious, more lethal, and we don’t have a vaccine for it.

    I mean, you want one surefire way to prevent from catching COVID? Stay home. Since none of us want that, then we are always taking the chance catching it when we go out. Masks, social distancing, washing hands, testing, tracing, etc., minimalizes the risks. They don’t eliminate all the risks.

    • VaRedsFan

      Staying locked in the basement is no way to live. Luckily leadership of the country noticed this, and acted accordingly before economic disaster

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        That’s why the good ol USofA is still dealing with all of this, while much of the rest of the world gets to have sports they can attend in person, and for the most part, be back to a normal-feeling life. They took it seriously, did what was necessary to fight this, and worried less about short term economic issues in favor of immediate health and beating the virus issues.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Va, I didn’t want to go as far as I did, but it is obvious what is going on.

        I won’t go any farther.

      • VaRedsFan

        Frankie….Did I miss something? Has there been a cure?

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        Must have missed the part where other countries have pretty much taken full control over the virus spreading through the population while things in America are out of control because just hoping it goes away was a plan that was never going to work, thus this country is watching 1000+ people die per day while other countries aren’t having 1000 people a day catch the virus, much less die from it.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Exactly. If we had stayed in lockdown for another 2 weeks to a month, we would probably be where they are now.

        The cure right now is patience. America has none of that.

      • TR

        Really? The quarter ending June 30th. registered the biggest economic collapse in American history. Weak leadership from the top has made it a lot worse than it had to be.

      • greenmtred

        I wouldn’t count those economic disaster chickens before they hatch. We just suffered a historically bad quarter and we’re still in the first wave. I had to spend two weeks in self-quarantine, and little of that time was spent in the basement–none of it locked in down there. Of course it’s hard. Of course it’s unpleasant. Have we lost our ability to endure for the sake of our neighbors?

      • VaRedsFan

        If aren’t allowed to control the people burning, rioting, and looting our cities, how do you expect enforcement of stay at home and mask wearing rules? Marshall law is the answer to both, and then you get pushback from both sides, which in turn creates more chaos. It’s not a leadership problem, it’s a people following the rules problem. It’s like saying its David Bell’s fault for our DH’s getting 1 hit through 7 games.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        Only “one side” is having a problem with this, and it’s been the same side since the beginning. The side that follows a cult leader who said it would just disappear, the side that continues to this day to say it’s just like the flu, the side that to this day still wants to not wear a mask, the side that continues to want to just wish this all away rather than take action to stop it in it’s tracks.

        It’s absolutely a leadership problem because the people that are causing a lot of the issues are followers of a cult of the leader can not be wrong, and even when he is wrong, that’s not what he meant. If this post gets me banned, so be it.

  5. VaRedsFan

    Weren’t they supposed to get tested every other day?
    Humans refuse to follow the rules. As usual, they will penalize the many for the actions of a few.

  6. RedNat

    Honestly i think the weakness in controlling the coronavirus in mlb is inaccurate testing. The reds had 3 examples. Davidson tested positive and had no symptoms. Senzel and moustakas had symptoms consistent with covid but tested negative. Until the testing becomes more reflective of the patients symptoms it is just going to muddy the waters. A 5 percent false positive and 30 percent false negative test is not good enough of a test to base policy on

    • Doug Gray

      Davidson’s positive test was not an MLB given test.

      • Eric the Red

        I’m confused. Why would a guy get a non-mlb Test, unless he was having symptoms and wanted a quick answer?

      • Doug Gray

        It’s possible there was some sort of possibility for exposure, either directly or indirectly, and he thought “better safe than sorry”.

      • Grand Salami

        Interesting. And Moose already had it which would lead one to believe wouldn’t get it again unless it was a new strain.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      The testing isn’t just a problem with MLB. It’s a problem across the country right now. That’s one of the things that needs to be improved dramatically, right away, as well as the vaccine.

      When there is a lack of leadership at the top in a situation like this, the effects will “trickle down” if not “cascade down” to everyone.

  7. Darrin

    Well, if this would have taken seriously in March, it would never have come to this.