Pro Sports Won’t Succeed If Players Continue To Live Irresponsibly During A Pandemic 

This is why MLB should have constructed some kind of bubble and had teams all play in one contained area, similar to the NBA. While NBA players are basically located in Fort Knox and most team owners can sleep well at night, MLB club owners have to hold their collective breaths and hope that players are committed enough to the 60-game task.

Having players travel between games, to different cities, was a risky dynamic from the jump. Those concerns have now become a thorn in the side of MLB and a potential season obliterator. 

A total of 14 members of the Miami Marlins, including 12 players and two coaches, have tested positive for COVID-19 while in Philadelphia, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Monday morning.

Since Sunday, when four players including pitcher Jose Urena tested positive, the number has spread to 14 and it is now a mini epidemic. 

The Marlins completed a series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday and were set to fly home to Miami (A COVID hot spot right now) on Monday. However, their flight home was canceled, WPVI-TV learned.

The team has also canceled their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles, originally scheduled for Monday night. The Marlins outbreak also affects the Yankees-Phillies series. The Yankees were set to visit Philadelphia tonight for a two-game series at Citizens Bank, but that series has been postponed. 

The latest round of COVIS-19 infections opens up another can of worms about whether or not the MLB season can even be completed based on the health risks.

NBA ReLaunch

Adding to the difficulty in containing the virus is irresponsible behavior by players. Clippers player Lou Williams showed what kind of cooky decisions players make by leaving the NBA Bubble and going to Magic City strip club with his rapper friend to “get some wings.”

It was a prime example of a player who is just not responsible enough to actually pull this off. 

Once the players leave their baseball environment, unlike the NBA, they have more freedom in moving around and aren’t as restricted to one area. The traveling speaks for itself.  


NFL training camps begin tomorrow and the league has already sent a memo to the NFLPA warning them that players will face disciplinary action if they engage in high-risk activities and contract COVID. They might even be docked pay. With 80 or 90 players, plus staff on each team to track, the league has an almost impossible task ahead.

MLB Is At A Cross Roads

Under MLB guidelines, the players will be isolated from the team until they test negative twice at least 24 hours apart, show no symptoms for 72 hours and receive approval from team doctors.

There will be more positive tests. Once Nationals player Juan Soto tested positive, it seems like the floodgates of infection were open.

The 101-page 2020 Operations manual contains an endless list of conditions and precautions designed to limit infection.

It doesn’t however, account for the human element. The few players who would risk it all for personal satisfaction. It’s impossible to measure how big a role rules infractions play in the spread of COVID-19. There are so many moving parts. 

In Cincinnati, Reds second baseman Mike Moustakas and center fielder Nick Senzel felt sick Sunday, a day after a teammate went on the injured list because he tested positive for COVID-19. 

According to ABC13 in Houston, some Marlins players were concerned and texted each other about the team’s health issues before Sunday’s game, but there was no talk of declining to play, shortstop Miguel Rojas said.

“That was never our mentality,” Rojas said. “We knew this could happen at some point. We came to the ballpark ready to play.”

The Marlins played exhibition games at Atlanta on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Braves, who have lost catchers, Tyler Flowers and Travis d’Arnaud, after both players showed symptoms of COVID-19.

As long as there are irresponsible people refusing to listen to scientists and doctors, the virus will continue to spread. Let’s hope baseball can counter with some stricter measures for players or this season might not make it. Not because of COVID-19 but because of stupidity. 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.