We’re still waiting to get word on just how many COVID-19 cases are tied to the St. Louis Cardinals outbreak, but we’ve already talked about how unlikely it is that the Cubs and Cardinals actually wind up squaring off in St. Louis this weekend.
To that end, even without the next wave of positive results officially in, the additional postponements are coming:
No announcement yet from MLB on Cardinals’ COVID-19 test results, but Tigers were told tomorrow night’s scheduled game at Comerica Park is “highly unlikely” to be played, a source tells The Athletic. Teams also scheduled for doubleheader Wednesday and afternoon game Thursday.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 3, 2020
I think the moment there were cases beyond the initial two detected on Wednesday night, you were going to have to spend at least a week with players and personnel isolated, and testing-testing-testing. So with the league now knowing there are likely additional positives from this weekend, playing a game on Tuesday is just gonna be a no go. That whole series against the Tigers seems impossible to me.
Hopefully the number of additional cases identified this weekend is not more than the 5 to 8 reports have suggested are possible. And then, of course, hopefully that’s the end of the positive tests. Hope is all we have at this point.
Meanwhile, like they did with the Marlins outbreak, MLB is going to seek to understand how this happened, and use that information to adjust the health and safety protocols on the fly. To that end, it seems like more strict rules – not mere suggestions – are coming for players on the road:
At least a couple Cardinals did go to a Casino, as @TheRealJHair 1st suggested. MLB has since tightened its rule on leaving the team hotel from very strongly discouraged to not allowed. Cards Covid count going into today: 3 players, 4 staff
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 3, 2020
So, no much fun times when you’re on the road at a hotel. Just stay at the hotel, go to the ballpark, repeat (it’s what the Cubs were already doing). I get that it kinda sucks to have that existence, but it’s also only a couple months, and it’s part of the job right now.
As for the other part of that tweet …
As with the Marlins, where there were certain rumors and reports about extracurricular player behavior that *COULD* have led to infections, I want to be careful not to go hog wild on ripping players for those kinds of reports. For one thing, it might not be true. For another thing, we don’t know *exactly* how safe or unsafe the locations were. For still another thing, we don’t know if the activities were *actually* the source of the infection. And for a final thing, I just want to be sensitive to the fact that the virus is the primary bad guy here, not humans doing normal things that are, in this particular moment, pretty stupid.
That said, if the report is accurate, and if that foray into one of the worst environments for COVID spread that I can think of did in fact cause this outbreak? I am pissed. And I’d be really pissed if I were in that organization and I was honoring the rules. And I’d be really pissed if I were any other player or coach or staff member on any other MLB team. Heck, even if this wasn’t the cause of the outbreak, I’d be really pissed, because it’s needlessly risky behavior that imperils THE WHOLE LEAGUE.
Also, this just came out:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) August 3, 2020
UPDATE: The Cardinals’ President isn’t saying he knows for sure that this didn’t happen, but he also doesn’t know for sure that it did:
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak on the reports that Cardinals players went to a casino before their COVID-19 outbreak: “I have no factual reason to believe that is true, and I have not seen any proof of that. If they were at a casino, though, that would be disappointing.”
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 3, 2020