For those of you inclined to wonder about the link between stories of MLB COVID-19 outbreaks and football and/or to complain about the presence of baseball stories on this platform, there are obvious reasons for tracking baseball’s struggles with the coronavirus. Like football, baseball isn’t using a bubble. Unlike football, baseball players don’t spend the entire game breathing, coughing, sweating, spitting, and/or bleeding on each other.
In the wake of Friday night’s report from ESPN.com that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is considering shutting the 2020 season down, ESPN.com now reports that at least four more members of the St. Louis Cardinals organization have tested positive. As a result, Saturday’s game between the Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers has been postponed.
Friday’s Cardinals-Brewers game was postponed after two Cardinals players tested positive. That game was moved to Sunday, as part of a doubleheader consisting of seven-inning games. It now seems possible if not likely that Sunday’s let’s-play-two vibe will become let’s-play-none.
Baseball now has two outbreaks among its teams. For the Marlins, more than half of the players have tested positive.
For football, these situations underscore the value of considering a hardened, local bubble, with all members of a given team staying at a hotel indefinitely, confining their movements from hotel to practice facility to hotel, until the time comes to expand that footprint to include stadiums.
The crystal-ball question that the NFL must resolve entails balancing the chances of playing a full season with players and coaches going home every night against the likelihood of getting the games in if players and coaches and other essential staff isolate themselves from a country that lacks the will to do what needs to be done to limit the spread of the virus, thanks to politicians and other assorted charlatans whose wrong-headed proclamations about the pandemic have directly contributed to its spread — and to the sickness and/or death of thousands of Americans who made the mistake of believing the bullshit.