After just one week of baseball, the abbreviated 2020 MLB season already could be in jeopardy.
Commissioner Rob Manfred has informed MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark that the season could be shut down if teams don't do a better job mitigating the spread of coronavirus, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported, citing sources, on Friday.
BREAKING: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told MLBPA executive director Tony Clark on Friday that if the sport doesn’t do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could shut down for the season, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2020
Story at ESPN: https://t.co/o0OL7JzowN
The conversation between Manfred and Clark was not a threat but a reality check that was relayed to players -- and has spread quickly among them: We -- all of us -- need to clean this up, because if we don't, Major League Baseball in 2020 is going to be over.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2020
Eighteen players from the Miami Marlins and two players from the St. Louis Cardinals reportedly have contracted the virus since the season began last week. In MLB's latest testing results revealed Friday, which includes coaches and staff members, there were a total of 29 new positive cases among 11,895 samples collected (0.2 percent). The Marlins and Cardinals are among eight MLB teams that have had their schedules affected by the virus.
The Giants and A's have not reported any new positive cases since the season began, and their schedules thus far have not been impacted.
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Washington Nationals star Juan Soto tested positive for the virus just hours before his team opened up the 2020 season against the New York Yankees on Opening Night. After the team voted not to travel to Miami for this weekend's series against the Marlins, the Nationals now will be off for the weekend.
The Philadelphia Phillies also currently have their season on hold after a pair of positive tests at their facility Thursday, and Friday's matchup between the Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers was postponed after the two Cardinals players' positive tests.
The Yankees and Baltimore Orioles played a quick two-game series this week after both had scheduled series canceled with the Phillies and Marlins, respectively.
If games continue to be impacted and cases continue to rise, this weekend could be the final time we see MLB on the field in 2020.