Though the 2020 Major League Baseball season is just a few days old, the expected problems that come with trying to operate during a global pandemic have already shown themselves.
An outbreak in the Miami Marlins organization has halted their season and impacted other teams in the league, leading many to question if it is even possible to complete a 60-game season under these conditions. Some even called for the campaign to be stopped on Monday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, doesn't believe MLB has reached that doomsday scenario just yet, though things are trending in the wrong direction. To him, it will come down to closely monitoring each and every day of the season,
"This could put it in danger," Fauci said on ABC's "Good Morning America." "I don't believe they need to stop, but we just need to follow this and see what happens with other teams on a day-by-day basis."
"Major League Baseball -- the players, the owners, the managers -- have put a lot of effort into getting together and putting protocols that we feel would work," Fauci said. "It's very unfortunate what happened with the Miami [Marlins]."
So far, the day-to-day results following the first series of the season have not been great.
After it was reported that the Marlins had multiple players test positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, the team still played its Sunday game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Following the matchup, Miami had seven more players and two staff members test positive on Monday forcing the team to delay travel home and postpone two games against the Baltimore Orioles. With four more players reportedly testing positive on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday games in Baltimore are in jeopardy as well.
It did not end there as the Phillies felt the domino effect as well. Monday and Tuesday's games against the New York Yankees were postponed, and though the Phillies have not reported any cases in the early results, the rest of their week is still in limbo.
At this time, Fauci is cautiously optimistic that MLB can survive the initial problems and finish the season. However, a definite yes or not can't be given at this time. The situation must be evaluated constantly. It can change dramatically at any moment.
With four teams feeling the negative impacts after the opening weekend of games, determining when to put a potential stop to the season will be a challenging task for all involved.
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