With a growing number of cases of COVID-19 present in MLB, are the Miami Marlins and the other 29 MLB teams about to shut the season down for good?
The more I listen to Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, the more I believe the 2020 season for the Miami Marlins and 29 other franchises could come to a screeching halt. Regardless of what Manfred says, as he talked with ESPN’s Karl Ravech on Saturday, makes me believe the sport is in a good place now.
"“There is no reason to quit now,” Manfred said when asked about the recent issues with the increase in positive coronavirus tests that have led to the postponement of 17 games in 10 days.“We are playing,” Manfred added. “The players need to be better, but I am not a quitter in general and there is no reason to quit now. We have had to be fluid, but it is manageable.”"
But with the news that other teams, St. Louis and Philadelphia, have been affected by the virus and the Miami Marlins are still figuring out if they can field a team before the end of next week, the odds look grim. Scheduling has been an issue. Players opting out of playing has been a concern and making sure the league itself continues to follow protocols that are changing, can the season be salvaged?
Everyone associated with the sport is holding their collective breaths.
The Marlins continue to remain at the epicenter of the controversy as players and staff members have been affected and subsequently quarantined because of positive testing. It has just been announced the team will play once again on Tuesday.
"Per MLB.com, ”The Marlins’ remaining players and staff have been quarantining in Philadelphia since Sunday and have not engaged in any baseball or other activities. The Marlins reported no new positive test results in yesterday’s collections. The current plan is for the Marlins to resume play against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday in Baltimore.”"
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That is the best news the Marlins have had in a week as last weekend looked so promising with a 2-1 series victory over the Philadelphia Phillies only to see the 30-man roster crumble like stale cookies. Players and personnel were affected in ways the Marlins organization and MLB weren’t prepared to handle.
After a 2-1 start, will the Marlins and manager Don Mattingly be able to make up ground and compete for a playoff berth? How will the players who contracted the virus be affected this season? How will players the front office has signed to play help the organization move forward?
It’s the biggest cluster of confusion, insecurity, and questionable management the team has faced since Derek Jeter took over as CEO and part-owner. And now, it looks like Manfred, who was at a standoff with MLBPA figurehead Tony Clark before the season was decided upon, may have fired a shot at the players – the ones he will have to deal with next season to make sure there is no work stoppage once again next season.
"As the ESPN.com story continued, “Manfred on Friday told MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark that if the sport doesn’t do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could shut down for the season, sources familiar with the conversation told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.”"
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