Well, we at least got a week of pro baseball in before the whole experiment came crashing down around us.
Sports fans have been patient throughout the trials and tribulations of 2020, as a global pandemic continues to throw wrenches into the gears of our favorite athletic competitions. NASCAR bounced back quickly, which makes sense seeing as the whole point of racing is to put distance between yourself and the other competitors.
MLS came back next, utilizing the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida as a way to keep teams sequestered away and in a “bubble” of sorts.
But MLB…poor MLB. The Major League Baseball group decided that they would press on with a much more lax plan, and they’re already paying for it.
The 2020 season is not even a week old and already MLB has a COVID-19 crisis on its hands. As many as 17 members of the Miami Marlins, including 15 players, have tested positive in recent days. The outbreak forced Monday’s and Tuesday’s games in Miami and Philadelphia, where the Marlins played this past weekend, to be postponed.
In an effort to minimize disruption to the season while containing the outbreak, MLB has revised the schedule to isolate the Marlins and Phillies for a period of time, the league announced Tuesday afternoon. Both clubs are currently undergoing additional testing following their series at Citizens Bank Park this past weekend.
“The health and safety protocols were designed with a challenging circumstance like the one facing the Marlins in mind,” MLB said in a statement. “The response outlined in the joint MLB-MLBPA Operations Manual was triggered immediately upon learning of the cluster of positive cases, including contact tracing and the quarantining and testing of all of the identified close contacts. The Marlins’ personnel who tested positive remain in isolation and are receiving care.”
And here is where things get so messy that many fans will likely just step aside and wait until next year:
MLB will try to make up all postponed games later in the season via doubleheaders and eliminating off-days. If it’s not possible, MLB is prepared to allow teams to finish the season with an unequal number of games played, and determine the postseason field with winning percentage, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Well, folks: It was fun while it lasted.