Baseball is back. But for how long?
After commissioner Rob Manfred announced a 60-game season, the players and staff had to prepare for a return to their playing cities from all over the world. As expected, this meant some positive COVID-19 cases.
According to NBC, the MLB tested 3,748 people and came back with 66 positives, a rate of 1.8% positive. While nobody wants to see a positive test, the MLB expected this and kept these players and staff in quarantine until it was safe.
Teams Canceling Workouts
Another issue that has arisen is what teams do when a player or coach who is at camp tests positive or when results are not available. In fact, many teams around the league are facing this dilemma today.
According to CBS Sports, the Nationals, Astros, A’s, Angels, Phillies, Giants and Cubs have canceled workouts in the past week because they were not given their test results. These test results let the people on the field know that it is safe to play, which allows them to focus on just baseball.
Nationals manager Mike Rizzo made a strong statement where he said that nothing will come above the health and safety of the players and staff.
“We cannot have our players and staff work at risk. Therefore, we have cancelled our team workout scheduled for this morning,” Rizzo said. “We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff and their families. Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp. Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab. Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 Season are at risk.”
Yes, baseball is scheduled to come back. However, that doesn’t mean that a season is guaranteed to happen. A lot can happen between now and the “opening day,” scheduled for July 23rd. ESPN analyst Buster Olney thinks there is a more than likely chance that the MLB season doesn’t happen at all.
How does less training affect the preparedness of those teams who have to wait around for results? What happens if a team experiences an outbreak in the middle of the season?
These are all questions that have to have answers if the MLB is going to pull this off.