Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB Players Association head Tony Clark on Friday that the league could be forced to shut down the season due to COVID-19 if infections continue to rise over the coming days, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The belief is that this weekend will go a long way in determining the viability of the 60-game season, Passan noted, with local health officials being “troubled by the lack of mask wearing, high-fiving and spitting by players.”
Passan notes that players who were briefed on the call between Manfred and Clark believe the season could be halted as soon as Monday.
Although the regular season is just over a week old, already MLB has experienced a full-blown outbreak with the Miami Marlins. Six teams have had their originally scheduled games for Friday postponed due to COVID-19-related complications. That’s a full 20 percent of the league. Fifteen total games have been postponed since Monday, including Friday’s Cardinals-Brewers series opener after two St. Louis players tested positive.
The league released its latest COVID-19 testing information shortly after Passan’s report broke. The league said it had 29 new positive tests in the last week, and 21 of them came from one team (the Marlins).