Now, there have been more positive tests among the Cardinals traveling party in Milwaukee:
Between four and six additional Cardinals have tested positive, a source tells The Athletic. Another postponement tonight would appear likely. On it: @CraigMish.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 1, 2020
In fact, that game has been postponed:
Brewers-Cardinals game postponed— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 1, 2020
The teams were supposed to play a doubleheader Sunday to make up Friday’s postponement, but now that might not happen:
Whether it’s staff or players is largely irrelevant, as these positive tests indicate an outbreak of COVID-19 is happening among the Cardinals. It seems possible that more positive tests could happen going forward. Here’s the risk to MLB continuing the season:
Something to watch for: Will the recent events -- the Marlins' explosion of positive tests, Manfred's frank conversation with Tony Clark (as reported by @JeffPassan), and the Cardinals' breakout now compel other players to opt out? Agents say some players increasingly wavering.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 1, 2020
I posted about that Manfred/Clark conversation here late Friday and I can totally understand why some players would consider opting out at this point. If many players, including star players, decide to do that, how can a legitimate season continue?
Here’s what’s really too bad about all of these positive COVID-19 tests, as stated by Cubs outfielder Steven Souza Jr.:
Every player in this league better take a hard look at what you’re doing off the field, because what you do affects, more than just you and your team. Your decisions off the field will put all of our seasons in jeopardy this year.— Steven Souza Jr. (@SouzaJr) July 31, 2020
He’s right — and take a look at some of the specific measures the Dodgers took to try to prevent an outbreak on their team:
Now, the Cubs have done a pretty good job of doing those sorts of things as well, and there have been no positive tests on the Cubs since “intake” (reporting to Summer Camp). The only people among Cubs players and coaches who have had COVID-19 are coaches Tommy Hottovy (who had a pretty rough time with it) and Mike Napoli. On Friday’s broadcast Len and JD reported that Napoli is now with the team — that’s almost a month after players and coaches were originally to report.
None of this bodes well for the 2020 MLB season to continue. It might have been better if they had placed all the teams into three bubbles, as was proposed back in April. Even though the states proposed (Florida, Arizona, Texas) have had spikes in COVID-19, players would have been sequestered away from everyone else. It appears to be working for the NBA, NHL and MLS. Players didn’t seem to be willing to do that at the time, but we are now seeing the difficulty of avoiding outbreaks now that teams are traveling — even though the travel is limited to regions rather than nationwide.
There have already been nearly 20 games postponed, with more to come. The competitive integrity of the 60-game season has already been compromised, and things aren’t going to get any better. And what happens to players on teams that have been shut down for a week if/when they try to resume play come Monday? Are those players — particularly pitchers — more likely to be injured because they’ve had such a long layoff?
We might have a shutdown as soon as Monday:
Breaking News: multiple sources inside and outside the game report MLB has warned its TV outlets to have alternate programming for games as early as Monday.— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) August 1, 2020
Meaning the shutdown the Commissioner threatened today could conceivably happen 48 hours from now: https://t.co/2svotCEGe0 pic.twitter.com/K3C22vwGjB
It very well might be the right thing to do. You know my old saying: “We await developments.” In this very strange season — and year, let’s be honest — “developments” appear to be happening almost hourly. Stay tuned, there could be more later today.