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.
COVID-19 within Baseball:
Eduardo Rodriguez gets COVID
Juan Soto tests positive for COVID
Marlins have 14 people test positive for COVID & home opener is cancelled
Yankees vs Phillies canceled
Why does baseball not have a bubble? Oh wait… they had that idea in Arizona 🤔 pic.twitter.com/51u7NJmilS
— Taylor Ringold (@TaylorRingold) July 27, 2020
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.
Eight more players and two coaches with the Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19, as an outbreak has spread throughout their clubhouse and brought the total of cases in recent days to at least 14, sources familiar with the situation tell me and @JesseRogersESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 27, 2020
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.
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.
Risked it All: Lou Williams Leaves NBA Bubble For Lapdance Lallygagging At Magic City https://t.co/dy7xd1Qk0J
— Hot 107.9 Atlanta (@hot1079atl) July 27, 2020
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.
— #SportsUnfiltered (@sprtsunfiltered) July 26, 2020
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.