July 30, 2020

MLB's 2020 Protocol (113 Pages) Contains No Specifics Regarding Handling A Virus Outbreak (How Is That Possible?); Union Asks Players To Consider Seven-Inning Games For DHs

Another Marlins player has tested positive, Major League Baseball is encouraging (but not ordering) players not to leave hotels in road cities except for games, mandating the use of surgical masks instead of cloth masks during travel, and requiring every team to travel with a compliance officer who ensures players and staff properly follow the league's protocol, which would seem to contradict MLB's mere "encouragement" to not wander around in public before or after games. 

ESPN's Jeff Passan writes
Nowhere does the 113-page protocol that governs the 2020 season explicitly address how the league would handle a coronavirus outbreak, let alone one the magnitude of the Marlins'. It offers neither a threshold of cases to shut down a team nor a scenario that would cause a pause in the season. For a document as detailed and pedantic as MLB's operations manual, the lack of specificity on literally the entire reason for its existence -- the presence of a global pandemic -- has been a glaring omission, multiple general managers said leading up to the season. 

It also was intentional, with the league seeking flexibility in its actions. The virus' infiltration of the Marlins this week proved seminal, finally putting a number on the lowest figure baseball is willing to stomach without shutting down operations beyond the heart of an outbreak: 18 positive tests, including 16 players -- 48% of those traveling with the team. 

From the moment MLB committed to holding its season outside of a bubble and sending hundreds of people on the road every day, this was, if not inevitable, then at least expected. And yet the volume of Marlins personnel with COVID-19 still shook league officials who had hoped outbreaks would top off at half that size. For all the rigor MLB took with its protocol, the virus beat it in one place on the season's first weekend

The fallout is only beginning. ... This is pandemic baseball: A schedule is a schedule until it's not. ... As much as Manfred stood behind the protocol Monday ... here is the truth: The rules meant to protect players and keep them safe could not prevent a spectacular outbreak. ... 
Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic reports:
Sources: Union is asking players to consider rules adjustments to maximize their health, according to a memo sent today. On doubleheaders, consideration is a 9-inning & 7-inning game or two 7-inning games. On rosters, question is whether to extend 30-man limit for additional time.
Because the virus really only gets busy in the eighth inning?

Christ. Please cancel the season before shortening games to seven innings. Please.

1 comment:

allan said...

In a seven-inning game, does the Extra Runner Bullshit start in the eighth?

Current desire to stop following everything about baseball and simply re-watch my 2004 DVDs forever: 25%.