July 27, 2020

Infectious Diseases Professor: MLB's Plan "Was Designed To Fail And They Went Through With It Anyways ... Anyone Who Knows Anything About [Infectious Diseases] Could Have Anticipated This ... Baseball Is In Huge Trouble"; Having Marlins Play On Wednesday "Is The Stupidest Possible Plan, Absolutely Insane"


Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto, says the outbreak among the Miami Marlins is not a surprise because MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's plan was seriously flawed.
Baseball is in huge trouble, huge trouble. It makes me wonder if they are listening to the advice of experts or whether their experts are giving them good advice. This was not a plan anyone who knows what they are talking about would have conceived. It's playing out like it was supposed to play out.
Anyone who knows anything about this problem and infectious disease epidemiology could have anticipated this. This plan was designed to fail and they went through with it anyways. ...

The sports broadcasting industry has a conflict of interest. They are interested in a good product and minimizing the whole COVID situation. You are not going to hear good commentary from people who have the most interest in sports continuing on. ...

There are Lou Williams type stories in MLB that we are just not hearing about because they are not tightly controlling their players as the NBA is trying to do. It's going to end with a headline saying the first player is admitted to the intensive care unit.
Craig Calcaterra (NBC Sports) writes:
Major League Baseball needs to be suspended immediately. Rob Manfred needs to answer for why he allowed the Marlins-Phillies game to take place yesterday in such dangerous conditions. Then, in my view, he needs to resign.
Either MLB's protocols have no data-driven mechanisms or decision-making hierarchy via which games are postponed, or else it has them but they were allowed to be ignored. It has to be one or the other because "Miguel Rojas decides via group text" is probably not in the manual. ...

Seriously: Which is it? Did the league fail to plan for the eventuality of four guys on a team testing positive before a game or did it plan for it only to allow a team to ignore its plans because they wanted to "play hard?" ...

Some players are liking "they should cancel the season" tweets. Managers are not-subtly hinting that they want games canceled. MLB can't just set some random rules about how to pivot from today. They're losing the confidence of the people in harm's way.
A statement from Marlins CEO Derek Jeter raises numerous questions.
The health of our players and staff has been and will continue to be our primary focus ... [W]e now have experienced challenges ... take a collective pause ... properly grasp the totality of this situation. ... We have conducted another round of testing ... will provide additional information as it becomes available.
As Calcaterra explains:
The "____ is our top priority" form of corporate statement is always — always — deployed when the thing the business is claiming to be its top priority has been manifestly compromised. ... It's become such a cliche that it's hard to take that bit of businesspeak even remotely seriously.

What I'd like to hear is why the Marlins played a game with over 10% of its roster having tested positive and a bunch of other tests outstanding. What was the protocol that was followed and what, if anything, might have caused them to cancel that game if not the situation present at the time. Why, as Don Mattingly said, was the idea of cancelling the game "never considered" before today's Marlins COVID-19 outbreak?

I don't ask this rhetorically. ... It's something, in light of today's events, that should be a lot more transparent than it is. I bet it's something a lot of players want to know too.

Dr. Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist at Emory University’s Oxford College, on the plan to have the Marlins and Orioles play in Baltimore on Wednesday:
This is absolutely insane ... if possible, the literal stupidest possible plan. You have a raging outbreak, anyone in the Marlins' traveling party could be infected regardless of how their tests come back. So by all means, just bring that on the road to Baltimore! ...

MLB needs to act aggressively now, to hope that you have kept the outbreak contained to the Marlins. ... What you really don't want is it jumping to other clubs because they're traveling and playing other opponents. So two teams is a lot harder to control than one team. And three teams would be even harder. And you really want to stop it from getting to that point. ...

At a minimum, you have to shut down for at least five days to see if more cases uncover. And you need to wait because you could have ongoing transmission from cases that are newly discovered tomorrow or the next day. You could still have more come from chains of transmission from those people after that. So there's no cure but time here, unfortunately. ...

The only remaining right move, I think, is to wait about five days to see if any cases pop up on the Phillies, because just testing them yesterday or today — the virus takes time to show up. So even if every Phillies player, coach and staff member tests negative, that's no guarantee that the virus isn't sneaking through that locker room right now. The hard, cold truth is, you have to wait a few days to see what's going to happen in the Phillies' locker room before you can be confident one way or the other. So I'm saying either risk it and play on or wait five days. But waiting only one day doesn't really make a lot of sense to me.
One team executive:
My concern was there would be a false sense of security rolling into the season, guys getting comfortable and letting their guard down. This is way more than a wake-up call. This is a big deal. In the blink of an eye, it can change. Here is the blink of an eye. And boy, did it change.
Nationals manager Davey Martinez:
My level of concern went from an 8 to a 12. ... It hits home now. I got friends on that Miami team. It really stinks. ...I have guys in my clubhouse who are really concerned as well.
Dodgers pitcher David Price:
Now we REALLY get to see if MLB is going to put players health first. Remember when Manfred said players health was PARAMOUNT?! Part of the reason I'm at home right now is because players health wasn't being put first. I can see that hasn't changed.
Manfred et al. will not be able to run out the clock on this debacle. It will not go away in the next news cycle. It's not a trivial matter, like sign-stealing.

It is literally life and death.

1 comment:

Jim said...

When I heard of the cancellation in the afternoon, I figured "OK, that's it, it's going to be like one of those card stacks where you nudge the first one and all the rest collapse one by one. Then I heard that the Marlins were going to play on Wednesday and thought "what am I missing here? Are these guys insane"? Then I thought maybe Manfred has some sort of bonus clause that gives him money if a certain number of games are played. But, like Occam's Razor, the answer is simple. Manfred is both incompetent AND in over his head. And Tony Clark? Anyone think Marvin Miller would put his boys at risk like this?