Baseball has been back for a week. It may not be back for much longer.
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN.com, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark on Friday that baseball could shut down the season, if it doesn’t do a better job of managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Miami Marlins have had a major outbreak, with more than half of the roster testing positive. Other teams have had issues, too, with Friday’s Cardinals-Brewers game postponed due to an undisclosed number of St. Louis players testing positive.
Baseball is using the same model as the NFL; neither league has attempted a full-blown bubble, and given the size of the rosters, an NBA-style model isn’t practical. But baseball’s situation has seemed bizarre to say the least, with for example Marlins players not doctors making decisions about whether to play a game in Philadelphia last Sunday once the outbreak became obvious.
The NFL, in comparison, seems far more buttoned up. However, the NFL will entail games with players in much closer quarters than in baseball. If the MLB shuts down, the NFL may want to consider seriously a bubble approach that would put all members of a given team in a hotel, at least until accurate and reliable point-of-care testing has been developed.