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#pounditMonday, November 30, 2020

MLB could shut down the season if coronavirus management does not improve

Rob Manfred

MLB could end up shutting down the 2020 season if their management of the coronavirus does not improve, according to a report.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan published an article on Friday in which he said MLB commissioner Rob Manfred had a call with Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLB Players Association, about the situation. The message from Manfred was that this weekend is critical and if things get worse, the league could be in danger of being shut down.

The coronavirus outbreak among the Miami Marlins has been troubling for the sport, as 18 players and two coaches have tested positive for the virus. The team played on Sunday despite having positive tests, though they have not played since then. The St. Louis Cardinals also had two positive tests on Friday, leading to the postponement of their games.

Passan says state and local government officials have pushed MLB about not taking coronavirus protocols seriously enough, such as players spitting and not wearing masks.

Unlike the NHL and NBA which created “bubble” environments featuring strict daily testing and a lack of travel, MLB allowed teams to operate out of their home cities, be on their own when not at the park, and to travel from city-to-city. The lack of a bubble leaves more chances for players and coaches to be exposed to the virus, which has put the whole operation in jeopardy. MLB was originally considering a bubble situation, but some players balked at the idea, and many top players were opposed to it. The alternative has been this traveling situation, which has resulted in serious problems.

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