MLB Has A Major COVID Problem

You do, Rob.

Jim Rome
July 28, 2020 - 9:30 am
Rob Manfred

USA Today


Major League Baseball postponed two games yesterday and two more today in the wake of a third of the Miami Marlins roster testing positive for covid. And this morning, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Marlins have four additional players test positive. So that’s 15. That we know about. Half of a 30-man roster.

You would think that would be a complete and total nightmare. And you would be wrong.

Because the commissioner told MLB Network last night, it’s really not that bad: "I don't put this in the nightmare category. We don't want any player to get exposed. It's not a positive thing, but I don't see it as a nightmare.

My man, if that’s not a nightmare, exactly what is a nightmare?

Half the clubhouse tests positive for Covid - how is that not in the nightmare category? If that’s not a nightmare, exactly how terrible are your dreams?

MLB spent the last four plus months coming up with a plan for dealing with covid and then could not get out of the first weekend of the season without having to cancel games because of covid. And this guy is up there saying, nope, we’re cool…it’s all good.  Nothing to see here. Keep moving.

The meme of the dog sitting in room that’s on fire, drinking hot coffee, thinks you’re in denial.

And the commissioner had more: “We built the protocols to allow us to continue to play. That's why we have the expanded rosters. That's why we have the expanded pools of additional players. We think we can keep people safe and continue to play."

You mean, like Not only is this not a nightmare, it’s actually a positive…. It’s a really good thing. And how about him going to the “that’s why we have the expanded rosters” argument for why this isn’t a problem. Dude, the issue isn’t the size of the roster. The issue is the fact that half the roster has covid.

But the commish is going with the glass half full view. He’s practically saying, sure, half the roster has covid, but what about the other half that haven’t tested positive?

And what about the fact that the guys who do have the virus are now creating opportunities for minor leaguers to get a chance to live out their dream of playing professional baseball? We’re making dreams come true! How is that a nightmare? Why do you all have to so negative. When did you all become team covid?

I don’t want anyone tell me how to do my job, so far be it for me to tell the commissioner of major league baseball how to do his job. But he clearly needs some help doing his job and I’m here to give to him. Listen up, Robby: the issue isn’t the roster size, the issue is that you had a team with four known positive tests playing on Sunday and then by Monday, they had 13 positive tests between players and coaches. And now we’re up to 17 total. That we know about.

That’s the issue. That’s the problem. And yes, it’s a major freaking problem. And a major freaking problem that there really wasn’t a protocol in place for postponing a game when one team had numerous positive tests.

And then there’s that line of “we think we can keep people safe and continue to play”? Huh? Did you not see the news? A third of the roster of a team just tested positive on Monday and four more this morning. How is that keeping people safe?

Tom Verducci asked the commissioner what it might take to shut down a team or the season completely:

"A team losing a number of players that rendered it completely non-competitive would be an issue that we would have to address and have to think about making a change -- whether that was shutting down the part of a season, the whole season, that depends on the circumstances. The same thing with respect to league-wide. You get to a certain point league-wide where it does become a health threat and we certainly would shut down at that point."

Listen, if a third of the roster testing positive isn’t enough, what is? Where is the line? Is half the roster the line?

I’d say when they can’t get nine guys to play, but knowing this crew, they’d just take the cardboard cutouts from the stands, tape gloves to their faces, and slap them at third base and shortstop.

Or just start grabbing guys off the street to play.

If anyone of you listening have ever wanted to play pro baseball, it sounds like if you show up to Marlins Park with a glove and stand outside, wearing a mask of course, you’ve got a damn good chance of getting into a game.

But don’t worry, MLB has this whole thing under control. In the wake of this outbreak in the Marlins clubhouse, the league has a plan. Scott Miller tweeted: The Commish Office will redouble health directives, e.g. Players must wear masks in clubhouses, & reinforce on-field behavior prohibitions against high-fiving, spitting.

Translation – the Miami Marlins have half their roster test positive for Covid and MLB cracks down on high fives and spitting.

That’s hilarious. Truly hilarious. And one of the most MLB things ever. I would be laughing, if this wasn’t a global pandemic.

Covid is going through the Marlins clubhouse like a hot knife through butter and the commissioner cracks down on high fives and spitting. I’m sure when the league office came up with that solution, they all patted themselves on the back. And I hope they gave themselves a raise, because that is great work.

Covid crisis? Ban high fives. Problem solved, dodged that bullet. Now, back to our other awesome idea of putting a runner on second base in extra innings. Like whoooo’s got better than us. Nooooobody! 

Look, I hope that this nightmare, errr ahhh, I mean, non-nightmare, start to the season is just that. A nightmare and that somehow this is the worst moment of the season and we look back on it in a few months and think, wow, that was crazy, right?

And I really hope that cracking down on high fives and spitting works. But I’ve got to say, my confidence in MLB and its protocols is pretty low right now. They had all this time to come up with protocols and still  could not get out of the first weekend without a complete nightmare, I mean, totally awesome weekend!  And baseball couldn’t’ do it without a bubble, where the hell does that leave the NFL?