Per this ESPN.com article, two Cardinals players tested positive. Here’s what’s going to happen going forward:
So, per source, the #Cardinals for now have been told that, if the rest of the team tests negative (and I haven’t yet been told how many positives they had), the series with the Brewers will start on Saturday.— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) July 31, 2020
For now. But consider this:
You see the wildfire that is COVID here. #STLCards have a positive form a test that was almost certainly taken in MInnesota. Cards were off yesterday, but #Twins played #Indians. What will this mean for their games?— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 31, 2020
Won't affect the #Brewers as long as they keep the Cardinals away from them. But you know their equipment had to have been delivered to Miller Park. You can bet they are at DEFCON 1 in the visitor's clubhouse right now. https://t.co/MQVdmaf7b7— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 31, 2020
This is all one big mess. Six of the 30 teams, therefore, won’t be in action tonight, and the postponement in Milwaukee was rescheduled as a doubleheader Sunday:
Though MLB’s statement says “traditional doubleheader,” that terminology is usually taken to mean two games with 20-25 minutes in between as opposed to a day game and a night game, the statement doesn’t say whether those games Sunday will be seven innings each, as was reportedly agreed to by players and owners, or nine innings each. This report says it will be two seven-inning games:
As the schedule stands at this particular point in time, the Cardinals and Brewers on Sunday would play MLB's first doubleheader of seven-inning games.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) July 31, 2020
And then there’s this:
A prominent #Cardinals player informs me he wants to play tomorrow. “Can’t let this all crumble.”— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) July 31, 2020
Of course players want to play. That’s what they do. And if it “crumbles,” it’s because of a disease that’s very difficult to control at this point, even if players are following all the proper protocols.
Further, we still don’t know when the Marlins will be playing again, and:
As @JesseRogersESPN reported the Marlins have plans to bus players who tested positive back to Miami. However, none of them are going home. I can report they are going to a single isolated quarantine location.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) July 31, 2020
Can you imagine being that bus driver? At least the Cardinals, apparently, did social-distance on their flight to Milwaukee:
The Cardinals flew a 757–200, Which can hold more than 200 passengers. Plenty of room for the about 50 or so members of the Cardinals to space and not contact each other. https://t.co/3NTFvUd3va— Ants Masking (@AntsInOK) July 31, 2020
I realize this article so far has been one big sequence of things from Twitter, and this is where Twitter can be useful, posting useful information in real time.
Questions have to be raised whether it’s worth continuing the season at this point, or whether baseball might be better off doing something like this:
There'd be no shame in this. I have issues with MLB's plans and protocols, but the current plan was formulated before the giant June wave -- whether it's still the first or is now a second -- hit. They did not reasonably think things would suck this bad in the nation as a whole.— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) July 31, 2020
That’d be fun, at least. The bubble idea probably could have worked for MLB, I think, if they had put it in three different areas, one for East teams, one for Central, one for West. In fact, such an idea was briefly floated back in April. They probably could have pulled that off, or perhaps put some teams in southern California (Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Diego). The NBA and NHL are making bubble ideas work.
I am still on the fence about whether baseball should shut down. Yes, COVID-19 is clearly spreading through various teams. On the other hand, the Cubs and quite a few other teams have taken the protocols quite seriously and have had no major infections — although the Cubs have had two coaches test positive, and Tommy Hottovy was quite ill for a time and Mike Napoli has yet to report. Consider this:
Mariners are informing a number of baseball operations employees their contracts will not be renewed for 2021, sources tell The Athletic. Among those who will be let go after Oct. 31: VP of scouting Tom Allison.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2020
This is going to wind up happening to other teams, even though most owners can probably afford to keep their full-time staffs through this season and beyond. Wealthy owners can handle a shutdown. The wealthiest players can, too. But there are minor leaguers who already have no games and little money to get through this year, and most full-time staffers for MLB teams don’t make a great deal of money.
It’s not an easy call. MLB is clearly going to try to go ahead with the plan to finish the 60-game season (though how they’re going to make up all these postponements is problematic) and get to the postseason, because that’s where the real money is. But could they possibly get those big postseason dollars with some sort of tournament?
One thing is certain: MLB should not sell a single ticket in a ballpark this year. If they can’t keep players and staff safe from COVID-19, how could they keep thousands of fans (even at 20 percent capacity) safe?
It’s a mess, and there are no easy answers. As always, we await developments.
Here’s what MLB should do now with the remainder of 2020...
This poll is closed
Keep the 60-game season going and play through the October postseason
Put the season on pause and create a September/October tournament in bubble locations
Shut everything down now and try again in 2021
Something else (leave in comments)