Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said on Friday that MLB CEO Tony Clark said that if the sport did not do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could close for the season, sources familiar with the conversation told ESPN.
The league and the players acknowledge the coming days are a critical situation after the Miami Marlins outbreak, in which 18 players and two coaches tested positive for COVID-19. Two positive tests by St. Louis Cardinal players on Friday heightened concerns in the sport about the presence of coronavirus and whether MLB players are properly following protocols to avoid Miami-like outbreaks.
If another outbreak occurs, Manfred, who has the right to close the season, could move in that direction. Several players reported the challenge, fearing that the season could end as soon as Monday if the positive tests jump or if players continue to adhere to league protocols.
State and local authorities have been putting pressure on baseball against players who have played the mandates set out in the league’s 113-page manual, ESPN sources said. Broadcasts that showed the players high shots, spat and did not wear masks, made government officials wonder how seriously the players took the protocols.
There are also concerns about local choices, with one senior official saying, “Some bad decisions are being made.”
The Cardinals’ game against the Milwaukee Brewers has been postponed to Friday and postponed to Sunday, which is a duel. Already, Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies, who last played in Miami on Sunday, missed the scheduled games, leaving 20% of the hryvnia empty on Friday.