Only eight days into the start of the MLB 2020 season, the league has seen 20% of its teams rendered unavailable due to the novel coronavirus. The Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers, Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals, and Toronto Blue Jays will be unable to play due Friday to COVID-19 concerns, according to Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Marlins saw as many as 18 people in their clubhouse (16 players and two staff members) infected with COVID-19, as the soft-lined health and safety protocols imposed by the league have done little to ease concerns of the pandemic while the season is underway.
The Nationals got an Opening Day surprise of their own when their prized slugger Juan Soto was ruled out hours before their blockbuster matchup against the New York Yankees last Thursday.
The Phillies canceled workouts Thursday after a coach and clubhouse attendant tested positive for COVID-19. Activities have been shut down “until further notice,” according to the team — an event that postponed an inter-league matchup against the New York Yankees and a weekend tilt with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Most recently, the game between the Brewers and Cardinals was postponed after St. Louis had two positive tests, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Recent positive tests had been limited to teams in the East, but this latest report acknowledges the issue is starting to surface in the Central region as well.
Teams haven’t been fully compliant with the MLB protocol, still dog-piling, celebrating by touching hands, and spitting onto the field as customary, despite a real warning to avoid any potential saliva contact while on the field.
A potential bench-clearing scuffle between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros also brought some deep concern, considering the league is hoping to enforce social distancing.
Despite being one of the sports with the least contact between players, baseball has found itself with a myriad of problems when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, making the prospect of finishing a 60-game season all the more dire.
It’s only been eight days into the 2020 season and six out of 30 MLB teams have been rendered inactive Friday due to COVID-19 concerns.
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