New York — Two games off the slate today. Perhaps more to come as Major League Baseball Monday morning woke up to the inevitable that should have been expected.
You can’t control a virus known as COVID-19. Baseball was played this weekend and not in a bubble situation as put in place with the NBA, NHL, MLS, and Top Rank Boxing.
The risk was there.
Well, now, we are aware of the risk. An outbreak of the coronavirus with the Miami Marlins and their home opener against the Orioles cancelled. The Yankees at the Phillies and home opener also cancelled.
The Marlins completed an opening weekend series in Philadelphia. The visitor’s clubhouse at Citizens Bank Ballpark has been cleared and disinfected. The Yankees are in a holding pattern and in isolation.
Early Monday afternoon, MLB and owners called an emergency conference call and a plan to either proceed or halt this truncated season that has 57 games to go.
The outlook is not good. Even with all of the protocols in place, 14 Marlins’ players and two coaches test positive for COVID-19. The Phillies are awaiting results as the Yankees have not stepped foot in the ballpark.
But for all involved, safety of players and personnel, the advice is don’t step a foot in the ballpark. Yes, this is a dilemma that was inevitable. And, yes, confined for now to possibly three teams as the Braves could be at risk after their exhibition game against the Marlins last week.
So, where do we go from here as MLB evaluates the situation?
All over baseball, players viewed playing this truncated season during a global pandemic as a risk. They knew what was at hand even with all the medical protocols in place.
Latinosports.com, in contact with a few players Monday morning, none affiliated with the Yankees, Phillies, or Marlins, said they were awaiting word and there is a definite concern. Of course, the consensus was a risk that was inevitable.
In the meantime, at press time, all other games were scheduled to be played Monday.
But the dilemma is now here. An outbreak of the coronavirus has hit a Major League Baseball clubhouse and one team, the Marlins, is decimated. And there could be others as teams begin to travel to cities in their region as the schedule was devised to prevent as much plane travel as possible.
You can do all you want with the protocols. A reality is the Coronavirus has no preference as to where it will strike next, It’s not a game being played here. It’s not about how young and healthy the Major League Baseball player is.
This is about a global pandemic. A vaccine in that experimental stage. This is the well being of players, managers, coaches, personnel, and of the few that are in MLB venues.
The risk took a Summer camp and three games of bad baseball that was played before no fans, piped in crowd noise, and cutboard fans in the seats.
Now the inevitable occurred. That risk has resulted in a team decimated with COVID-19 and perhaps more to come. A risk to the players that would have rather been home with families and prevent further spread of this virus.
But the owners, and Commissioner Rob Manfred? They went with their plan and imposed the 60-game schedule during a continuing and horrible pandemic.
So the right call would suspend the season again for a few weeks, as was the situation when the Korean Baseball Organization commenced, suspended, and resumed.
That can be done and cause makeup games in the schedule to not extend the season beyond September 28, avoiding a problem with the World Series that could conflict with an upcoming and important Presidential election.
But the best solution to this, as was published here weeks ago, close the door on the 2020 season. Resume in 2021 when there is more hope and a possible vaccine for COVID-19.
This risk has become inevitable. Time for MLB to shut down and look at the reality. Baseball is not being played in a bubble as this global pandemic continues to get worse.
Comment: Ring786@aol.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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