In case it wasn’t clear from the fact that six different teams, a full 20% of the league, have already faced cancelations due to positive COVID-19 tests on the Marlins, Phillies, and Cardinals, Rob Manfred put it in plain terms today:
BREAKING: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told MLBPA executive director Tony Clark on Friday that if the sport doesn’t do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could shut down for the season, sources tell ESPN.
Story at ESPN: https://t.co/o0OL7JzowN
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2020
While the specifics of his call with Clark haven’t been made public, the broad strokes are known. If positive tests jump, and particularly if there is another Marlins-like outbreak, the season will likely end. Given that the second round of Cardinals’ testing hasn’t come back, that could happen as soon as Monday.
There’s no sugar coating it: everyone has to do better. Public health officials have confronted the league about players ignoring its own protocols. Watch a game, and you’ll see a hodgepodge of masked and unmasked players, plenty of finger-licking, and about as much spitting as you would see in the pre-pandemic world. It’s…