It’s not looking great for Major League Baseball.
Six teams — a full 20 percent of the league — won’t play games Friday, thanks to COVID-19.
You know about the Miami Marlins, if you follow baseball much at all.
Over the past 36 hour or so, however, the Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays have also seen games postponed, either because players and/or staff have tested positive for coronavirus — or because the team they were playing had positive tests.
Second-guessing is unfair, because who knows WHAT should be done in a first-of-its-kind pandemic. But two leagues who have been mostly unscathed by the pandemic from the perspective of positive tests have housed their players in a “bubble” without travel.
Those two are the National Basketball Association and the WNBA. MLB has been playing in empty stadiums, but they’ve been playing home-and-away schedules, so teams are at increased risk due to travel, airports, and hotels.
You have to wonder if and when the season will be canceled due to COVID-19. The minor leagues are already gone for 2020, of course.
As much as I love baseball, and would like to see MLB play, I’m not sure it’s smart. But we’re in totally uncharted territory, so I just don’t know. I’m glad somebody else has to make these calls, because I simply have no idea what I would do if I were in MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s shoes, except that I’d be able to spend a lot more money.
Both the NBA and WNBA are providing players with “smart rings” that monitor a number of health factors. That’s interesting, but might not make a huge difference in MLB. Again, we just don’t know.
Manfred hasn’t always made the best decisions about more mundane matters. Players and owners can agree on very little, creating a labor relations disaster.
Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be THAT surprising if the would soon agree to pull the plug on the 2020 baseball season.