It’s been only a couple days since the Marlins outbreak (reportedly up to 17 players) got to the point where the league accepted the scope of the issue and shut the team down until at least next week, and also postponed games involving the Phillies (whom the Marlins had been playing when the infections were discovered) through this weekend. And now there’s already another huge question looming over other teams and other games, and at least one postponement.
The Brewers and Cardinals will not be playing today, reportedly after positive test(s) on the Cardinals:
Sources: Cardinals had positive tests, forcing postponement
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2020
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 31, 2020
We’ll update when more is understood, but for now, it’s good that there is already a proactive cancellation. It’s not good that the lags in testing (and incubation) mean a whole series or more might get wiped out. It’s also not good that the Cardinals were traveling from Minnesota where they’d just played the Twins, which means games involving the Twins are now a big question mark.
This is what it looks like to play in a pandemic with travel all over the country. It’s a problem. A known-in-advance problem, but a big one all the same. Planning to schedule more doubleheaders (at seven innings per game) might help with the ability to aggressively postpone, but at some point you do have to wonder what’s going to happen if there’s a new team with positive tests every single week (or more).
UPDATE: I don’t quite understand how this is possible unless there is much more information about the positive test(s) than we know:
So, per source, the #Cardinals for now have been told that, if the rest of the team tests negative (and I haven’t yet been told how many positives they had), the series with the Brewers will start on Saturday.
— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) July 31, 2020
If there are multiple positives on the Cardinals from a test that took place on Wednesday (when they were playing against the Twins), and then even if they get back negatives on Saturday morning for tests that took place on Thursday, how could they really be confident there wasn’t spread and incubation during that period of time? And then if they play, and a guy tests positive on Sunday from a test he took on Friday? I mean, what have you done at that point?
I know I probably sound alarmist, and I’ll admit again that it’s possible the league and the Cardinals know something about these particular tests/timing/contact tracing. But I just worry that we saw this play out less than a week ago with the Marlins, and it went very, very badly.
UPDATE 2 (Michael): Looks like they may skip Friday’s
and Saturday’s game in favor of a regular tilt tomorrow night and a double-header on Sunday (which would be two seven inning games).
Latest from MLB: pic.twitter.com/z7W8LO4diy
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2020
UPDATE 3: The Cardinals put out a statement confirming the news, but also noting that the tests took place *before* the Cardinals played the Twins in Minnesota, which raises questions about exposures there and for the Indians, who visited the Twins starting last night:
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 31, 2020