Rob Manfred Says MLB Season Could Potentially Be Shut Down Due to COVID-19

Manfred has raised serious concerns over players not following protocol

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox
A lone Boston Red Sox employee eats a hot dog in the stands before a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on July 26, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
By Tobias Carroll / July 31, 2020 5:39 pm

When dealing with COVID-19, erring on the side of caution is always important. A growing number of Major League Baseball teams are finding themselves grappling with positive tests for players or staff, and it’s increased that sense of caution to an unsettling level. Earlier on Friday, the news broke that a scheduled Cardinals-Brewers game would be postponed. This followed a series of Phillies-Blue Jays games also being postponed. And of course, the Marlins’ season remains on pause after their outbreak. If this looks like a worrying trend to you, you’re not alone.

Now, ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has told MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark that the remainder of an already-shortened season might be at risk.

Sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan that Manfred warned Clark that if teams did not keep COVID-19 better managed — for example, by following the protocols that MLB has established – Manfred has the authority to end the season prematurely; Passan writes that several players are concerned that that step could come within the next few days.

Multiple players briefed on the call fear that season could be shut down as soon as Monday if positive tests jump or if players continue not to strictly abide by the league’s protocols.

Observers within the league and local governments have expressed concern over players engaging in contact outside of the league’s previously-established protocols. This prompts one significant question: namely, if players are high-fiving (prohibited under the current protocols) on the field, are they also avoiding those protocols when off the field?

The next few days will be a critical moment for the league and its teams — and they might determine if the current season has a future.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.

Daily Brief

News From Around the Web

August 9, 2020 August 8, 2020