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Coronavirus expert Dr. Fauci: MLB should consider not playing past September

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USA TODAY

Coronavirus expert Dr. Fauci: MLB should consider not playing past September

There’s no guarantee we will have a 2020 Major League Baseball season, at least according to comments made by commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday.

But if MLB and the players union do come to terms for an abbreviated campaign, they should consider not playing into October, says Dr. Fauci, the nation’s top coronavirus expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“If the question is time, I would try to keep it in the core summer months and end it not with the way we play the World Series, until the end of October when it’s cold,” Fauci told The Los Angeles Times. “I would avoid that.”

The league and union have been squabbling over financials for a potential season for two months. MLB holds the position of not wanting to play past October, both due to a potential second wave of the virus and their lucrative postseason TV deals — MLB’s biggest financial motivation for playing in 2020. 

For those reasons, they shot down one of the union’s proposals, which entailed scheduling the postseason in November. MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem further expressed those concerns in a Monday letter to union labor attorney Bruce Meyer. 

At least 20 states have seen a recent surge in coronavirus cases, including those home to MLB teams — Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida. Several MLB players and coaches have reportedly tested positive for the virus. 

RELATED: Several MLB players, coaches have tested positive for coronavirus

COVID-19 deaths are steadily rising and are projected to have a sharp uptick in October. Fauci said there’s “less of an issue” playing in late July and in August and September.

“The likelihood is that, if you stick to the core summer months, you are better off, even though there is no guarantee,” he said. … “If you look at the kinds of things that could happen, there’s no guarantee of anything. You would want to do it at a time when there isn’t the overlap between influenza and the possibility of a fall second wave.”

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Yadier Molina, Paul DeJong among Cardinals to test positive for COVID-19

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USA TODAY

Yadier Molina, Paul DeJong among Cardinals to test positive for COVID-19

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and shortstop Paul DeJong are of the seven St. Louis players and six staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week.

Six of those players gave St. Louis permission to disclose their names. In addition to Molina and DeJong, the club announced Tuesday pitchers Junior Fernández and Kodi Whitley, first baseman Rangel Ravelo and shortstop Edmundo Sosa tested positive.

The Cardinals released statements from Molina and DeJong:

"I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place," Molina said. "I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates. As I recover, I request that you please respect my privacy and family in my absence from the team."

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"I am disappointed to share that I have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, even though I followed team protocols," DeJong said. "I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life — with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time."

The Cardinals' reportedly have no new positive tests on Tuesday. The tentative plan is for them to resume play against the Cubs this weekend.

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Report: No new COVID-19 cases for St. Louis Cardinals, door open to play Cubs

Report: No new COVID-19 cases for St. Louis Cardinals, door open to play Cubs

Jon Heyman reports that the St. Louis Cardinals had no new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

This comes after 13 members of their traveling party had tested positive through Monday, which put the future of their schedule in jeopardy, including their first series with the Cubs.

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The Cardinals haven’t played since July 29, postponing seven games along the way. The earliest they would be allowed to play is Friday to start their series against the Cubs.

The Cardinals are the second team to face a major outbreak since the outset of MLB’s regular season. The Miami Marlins had 20 people test positive starting on July 24, forcing them to postpone 10 games. In addition, the Phillies had two clubhouse workers test positive for COVID-19 after hosting the Marlins.

There have been no reports of any Cubs or White Sox players testing positive for COVID-19 since the regular season began.

RELATED: Report: St. Louis Cardinals went to casino before COVID-19 outbreak

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