MLB commissioner Rob Manfred even warned that the shortened season could be closed if the league and players do not improve their handling of the virus, ESPN reported.
And several teams have already had to press the pause button on previously scheduled games – including the “Field of Dreams” game in Dyersville, Iowa, which has been postponed to 2021.
The problem teams face is not necessarily that transmission occurs on the field, but rather when baseball players travel together, said Bob Costas, a CNN Sports contributor.
Miami Marlins CEO Jeter Offers Explanation
After 13 new cases were reported in the Saint Louis Cardinals organization on Monday, Marlins CEO Derek Jeter spoke of the outbreak from his own team and said he hoped it could serve as a warning for the league.
“We have been given the opportunity to press the reset button, and going forward we just can’t go wrong,” Jeter said.
He attributed the cases among his team and staff to a “false sense of security,” and said he hoped the outbreak would serve as a wake-up call.
“We have seen first hand how contagious this virus is. After we left spring training, we had a lot of talk, ”said Jeter. “Some of our travelers had a false sense of security and comfort in the way they behaved when we left Miami. ”
But Jeter has also defended his team against rumors that the players have acted irresponsibly in Atlanta.
“There were no other guests there. There was no salacious activity. There was no hanging out in bars, no clubs, no running around Atlanta. No racing around town, ”he added.
“What came out on this particular trip was that the guys were together, they relaxed and they let their guard down. They were getting together in groups, they weren’t wearing masks as much as they should have been, they weren’t social distancing, “he said.
The cardinals of Saint-Louis postpone the match
On Monday, the MLB announced that 13 members of the St. Louis Cardinals organization – seven players and six staff members – had tested positive for the virus.
John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations for the St. Louis Cardinals, quelled rumors that players had gone to a casino before testing positive. “I have no factual reason to believe this to be true, and I haven’t seen any evidence of it,” Mozeliak said. “If someone was in a casino it would be disappointing. ”
The team remains in Milwaukee and will continue to be tested daily. They have postponed their game scheduled for the remainder of the week and the MLB tentatively plans the Cardinals to resume their season on August 7 against the Chicago Cubs.
Philadelphia Phillies return to the field
Positive cases have also been identified in two Philadelphia Phillies staff members after playing three games against the Marlins.
All activities at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia are canceled until further notice and the team took time off a week after news of the Marlins outbreak was announced.
The Phillies returned to the field in New York to face the Yankees on Monday after their games against the Toronto Blue Jays were postponed.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi said he had been in contact with his players as they were on the road to face the Yankees and encouraged them to continue taking precautions against the virus.
“We told the guys to stay at the hotel as much as possible,” Girardi said, adding that the team would provide food and care for the players at the hotel.