COVID threatens MLB season

The Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper slides into second base under the throw of Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Saturday, July 25, 2020. A COVID-19 outbreak could endanger the rest of the Major League Baseball season. (Hunter Martin/Getty Images/TNS)

A COVID-19 outbreak among the Marlins raises questions about fate of entire MLB season

After just one weekend of the 2020 season, Major League Baseball is facing a COVID-19 related crisis.

The Marlins’ home opener Monday against the Baltimore Orioles has been postponed after a COVID-19 outbreak among the Miami team, which just completed a series in Philadelphia. The Yankees-Phillies game on Monday, also was postponed, according to MLB.

At least 14 Miami Marlins players and coaches have tested positive, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported.

How troubling is the situation for the Marlins?

Craig Mish, who has a podcast dedicated to the Marlins, tweeted that Miami would need to take a “minimum of 10 players from their alternate camp site. Few with big league experience, many with none. They will also need alternate coaches. Some with no big league coaching experience as well.”

The Marlins, who were still in Philadelphia on Monday morning, were scheduled to play a two-game series against the Orioles at home, then travel to Baltimore for games on Wednesday and Thursday.

Mish tweeted that he’s heard the entire Major League Baseball season is “in jeopardy.”

What would it take to cancel the 2020 season and who would make that call?

ESPN’s Karl Ravech tweeted that commissioner Rob Manfred has been granted the power to cancel the season:

Earlier this month Manfred said on “The Dan Patrick Show” what it would take to call off the season.

“I think the way that I think about it, Dan, is in the vein of competitive integrity, in a 60-game season,” Manfred said, per NJ.com. “If we have a team or two that’s really decimated with a number of people who had the virus and can’t play for any significant period of time, it could have a real impact on the competition and we’d have to think very, very hard about what we’re doing.”

The Marlins outbreak doesn’t affect simply that organization. Tom Haudricourt, a baseball writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shared this thought:

Joel Sherman of the New York Post said Major League Baseball owners will have a conference call at 11:30 a.m.

There has been no discussion of postponing or canceling the season, Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported.

ESPN’s Buster Olney believes the owners and players face an ethical responsibility over how to proceed given the Marlins’ outbreak.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale wrote a story with the headline, “MLB season now in jeopardy after COVID-19 outbreak hits Miami Marlins.”

Here is an excerpt: “Certainly, the Marlins’ outbreak is creating fear throughout the industry. How many more players will now opt-out? Will Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout, the face of the game, opt out with his wife expecting their first child on Aug. 3? If Trout doesn’t play, how many will follow?”

Passan talked about how far reaching the Marlins’ outbreak can be:

Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports wrote a story with the headline, “The Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak is really bad, and exactly what MLB signed up for.”

This is part of what he wrote: “This is bad, really bad, and it will get worse, because living here -- today, with leaders whose first priority is themselves, among fellow citizens who can’t be bothered with fortitude or compassion -- looks just like this.

“This is the world into which Major League Baseball rolled its operation. If you signed up for baseball in the summer of 2020, for an escape from reality, you signed up for a baseball team -- fathers, husbands, sons, brothers and friends -- holed up in hotel rooms, 1,200 miles from home, while people wearing masks, gloves and grim expressions knocked on their doors.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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