MLB is in a bad way right now and is doing a horrible job of managing the COVID crisis. The Marlins are the epicenter of issues in the league with more than half of their roster having tested positive, but they are not the only team shut down. Between teams with possible outbreaks and their opponents, there are six teams who are not playing tonight. For those keeping track at home, that is 20 percent of the league. Not great! Some of us have already called for the league to be shut down, largely because they (I) are not confident in the league being able to handle it. Apparently the person in charge of the league is starting to feel that way too. According to a report from Jeff Passan, Rob Manfred has told Tony Clark that shutting the season down may be on the table if things don’t get under control.
We’ll start with the fact that, yes, this should absolutely be in the mind of the commissioner and everyone else in the sport. With the Cardinals getting a couple of positive tests today that led to their game being cancelled, things are no longer contained in one region. This has the potential to explode. We still don’t know the extent of what’s happened with the Cardinals, so the next few days of testing there is going to be huge.
So, yes, good on MLB for at least moving in this direction. That being said, the framing of this report coming from Manfred’s side is ridiculous, as he is seemingly putting it all on the players. Don’t get me wrong, if this is happening because players are going out and just generally being irresponsible, then yes that is a problem on their side and it needs to be dealt with. But the league can’t wash away its end here either. They put threw together a plan that clearly has major holes, which we can see from the fact that rules are being changed seemingly every day. Furthermore, they are the ones that allowed the Marlins to play on Sunday when their outbreak was already coming into view. The players voting to play was ridiculous, but that never should have been put in their hands.
Ultimately, who is to blame is a pointless question and this is an actual both sides situation, but the fact remains that everyone needs to be better. The report indicates that multiple players on the call said 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.” So, let’s see what happens this weekend, but we should enjoy this Yankees series because it could be the last bit of baseball we get to see until next spring.