July 31, 2020

Manfred Warns Union That 2020 Season Could Be Shut Down As Early As This Monday (If Positive Tests Increase)

Commissioner Rob Manfred says the 2020 baseball season could be shut down as soon as Monday, August 3, if players don't "do a better job of managing the coronavirus", according to reports of Manfred's phone call with Players Association executive director Tony Clark.

Leave it to Manfred to blame the union while giving the impression that he believes (or hopes) the extremely thick and dark clouds hovering over baseball will suddenly go away and the sun will come out and every day will be beautiful. Manfred's attitude is not unlike another incompetent guy who should not have been put in charge of anything, who wastes his time focusing on all the wrong things, and does nothing right. That other guy still believes the virus is going to vanish on its own one day, allowing him to receive all the praise and credit (but he cannot understand why it's taking so long).

Manfred might be correct in this case. Scott Miller of CBS Sports tweets that an MLB investigation
found the Marlins were very lapse in following protocols during Atlanta trip last weekend, players going out, players in hotel bar, etc. Lots of MLB people very unhappy with Miami
Jeff Passan, ESPN, July 31, 2020 (4:55 ET):
The league and players recognize the coming days are a critical juncture following an outbreak among the Miami Marlins in which 18 players and two coaches have tested positive for COVID-19. Two positive tests by St. Louis Cardinals players on Friday exacerbated concerns inside the sport about the presence of the coronavirus and whether the jointly agreed-upon protocols are being followed properly to prevent outbreaks similar to Miami's.

Should another outbreak materialize, Manfred, who has the power to shut down the season, could move in that direction. Multiple players briefed on the call fear the season could be shut down as soon as Monday if positive tests jump or if players continue not to strictly abide by the league's protocols.

State and local governments have pressured baseball about players skirting the mandates outlined in the league's 113-page operations manual, sources told ESPN. Broadcasts that have shown players high-fiving, spitting and not wearing masks have left government officials wondering how seriously players are taking the protocols, sources said.

Further, there is concern about off-the-field choices, with one high-ranking official saying: "There are some bad decisions being made."

The Cardinals' game against the Milwaukee Brewers was postponed Friday and rescheduled to a doubleheader Sunday. Already, the Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies, who last played Miami on Sunday, were missing scheduled games, leaving 20% of the league's Friday slate empty.

1 comment:

allan said...

Manfred blaming the players or positioning himself so the players take all the heat when the season is cancelled is the equivalent of dumping a big bucket of poison into the water when the two sides meet to hash out a new CBA. Heck of a job, Robbie.

"[If] Manfred is putting this on the players' lap in such a straightforward way, it risks alienating players who may take it as Manfred making them scapegoats if he has to shut the baseball season down. He and the players should be talking about a collective effort to do better, not casting blame at what is a failure with many fathers.
To be sure, players are the front line here. The vast majority of positive tests have come from the player ranks and there are strong rumors that the Marlins outbreak was the fault of the players acting irresponsibly. ... Major League Baseball and the players jointly devised the league's health and safety protocols. If infections which have caused the multiple game cancellations have occurred even in compliance with those rules — if they are rules, as opposed to recommendations — one has to ask why the protocols are the way that they are and why they weren't more strict."