Report: More than five St. Louis Cardinals players test positive for COVID-19 — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

With yet another team ravaged by COVID-19, the very viability of the 2020 MLB season is in jeopardy

Report: More than five St. Louis Cardinals players test positive for COVID-19 — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

By Craig CalcaterraAug 1, 2020, 10:02 AM

Craig Mish reports that “more than five” St. Louis Cardinals players and/or staff have tested positive for COVID-19.

Yesterday the Cardinals-Brewers game was postponed due to two positive tests. With more than seven now, there is no way the Cardinals can field a team or responsibly play, so assume the entire Cardinals-Brewers series will be postponed. UPDATEtonight’s game is postponed. See below for additional schedule alterations and updates regarding the Cardinals, Brewers, Phillies, Marlins, and other teams.

This news comes less than an hour after reports that the Miami Marlins had no new positive tests, keeping their number at 18. it also comes after the Phillies announced that they had no new positives either. While it’s hard to draw any hard and fast conclusions from all of that, there is a strong suggestion that cross-team infection — say, between the Marlins and the Phillies — might be a smaller concern than expected (at least one of the infected Phillies was the visiting clubhouse attendant for the Marlins and was in close proximity with them). The Marlins’ and now the Cardinals’ examples, however, suggest that once a team starts getting infections its own roster can be quickly ravaged.

Which shines the light not on the activity of playing baseball, which may not entail a super high risk but, rather, on the protocols surrounding travel, housing, clubhouse deportment, etc., to which individual teams are subject.

Yesterday Rob Manfred pointed the finger at player behavior, saying that they have to shape up or else risk the season being cancelled, but it’s not at all clear yet whether those protocols are sufficient in and of themselves, whether players simply did not properly adhere to them, or whether it was some combination of the two. There is a suggestion that the Marlins acted irresponsibly, but that may not apply to all of their infections. We have no idea yet what may have caused the St. Louis Cardinals outbreak.

All we know for now is that yet another team, and its immediate opponents, stand to be idled for an extended period of time. And that the very viability of the 2020 baseball season is in serious doubt.

UPDATE, 3:29 PM:

Major League Baseball has issued a press release further elaborating on the Cardinals positive tests and laying out the schedule, to the extent it’s able to do so, for the coming days. What follows is the latest information the league is providing.

St. Louis Cardinals: After two Cardinals tested positive on Friday, the entire team was tested in Milwaukee using a rapid COVID-19 test in addition to the normal saliva samples which were sent to the MLB laboratory. The rapid tests indicated that one additional Cardinals player and multiple staff members may be positive. The MLB saliva test results are not yet back.

Philadelphia Phillies: Three Phillies staff members have tested positive since the Marlins series last weekend but no players have. MLB’s press release says, “it appears that two of those individuals’ tests were false positives, and it is unclear if the third individual contracted COVID-19 from Marlins players and staff based on the timing of the positive test.” MLB does not say how it knows they are false positives. The Phillies are scheduled to resume play against the Yankees in New York on Monday. It will be a four-game home-and-home series beginning with two games at Yankee Stadium on Monday, August 3rd and Tuesday, August 4th, followed by two games at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday, August 5th and Thursday, August 6th.

Miami Marlins: The Marlins’ remaining players and staff have been quarantining in Philadelphia since Sunday and have not engaged in any baseball or other activities. The Marlins reported no new positive test results in Friday’s sample collections. The current plan is for the Marlins to resume play against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday in Baltimore where they will play a four-game series from Tuesday, August 4th through Thursday, August 6th with one day including a doubleheader. The Marlins will be the home team for two games.


  • The originally scheduled game between the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Thursday, August 6th will be rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Saturday, August 8th. The remainder of their four-game series on Friday and Sunday will remain as scheduled;
  • The Marlins and Orioles, who were originally scheduled to play four games against one another this past week, will reschedule that series at a later date, as will the originally scheduled game between the Yankees and Orioles on August 5th.

MLB concluded by saying it will “continue to follow a conservative approach in addressing positive test results because the health and safety of our players, employees and the public at large is paramount. We are in daily contact with the Players Association, public health officials, and our own medical experts in order to make decisions that will best protect individuals from being exposed to COVID-19. We will continue to provide further scheduling updates as necessary.”

So that’s where we are.
Follow @craigcalcaterra

Report: Baseball could face shutdown if coronavirus isn’t better managed, MLB commissioner warns —

NEW YORK (WJW) — Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred warns the sport will shut down for the season if the coronavirus isn’t managed better, sources told ESPN. Manfred reportedly told this information to the MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark on Friday. The alleged conversation follows multiple coronavirus outbreaks within the league. Eighteen Miami […]

Report: Baseball could face shutdown if coronavirus isn’t better managed, MLB commissioner warns —

NEW YORK (WJW) — Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred warns the sport will shut down for the season if the coronavirus isn’t managed better, sources told ESPN.

Manfred reportedly told this information to the MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark on Friday.2 Cardinals test positive for COVID-19 

The alleged conversation follows multiple coronavirus outbreaks within the league.

Eighteen Miami Marlins players and two coaches tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Two St. Louis Cardinals players tested positive on Friday.2 MLB games postponed as Marlins deal with virus outbreak 

League officials have expressed concerns over the presence of the virus and are questioning whether MLB’s protocols are being properly followed by players, the news outlet reports.

Several players who were briefed on the call reportedly fear that if another outbreak materializes or if players do not strictly abide by MLB protocols, Manfred may shut down the season as early as Monday.‘Baseball is in huge trouble’: MLB faces first coronavirus crisis 

During certain games, players have been seen high-fiving each other, spitting and not wearing masks. Some state and local government officials have expressed concern over these behaviors and “pressured baseball about players skirting the mandates outlined in the league’s 113-page operations manual.”

One official even told ESPN “there are some bad decisions being made” when asked about off-the-field choices.

Marlins outbreak fallout: MLB to require teams to have a COVID protocol compliance officer — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

File under: Things That Maybe Someone Should Have Thought of Before Now

Marlins outbreak fallout: MLB to require teams to have a COVID protocol compliance officer — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

By Craig CalcaterraJul 30, 2020, 9:23 AM EDT12 Comments

Here’s some more fallout from the Miami Marlins outbreak: Major League Baseball is going to start thinking about how to enforce safety recommendations.

Major League Baseball made a lot of noise a couple of months ago about how great its anti-COVID-19 protocols were. About how detailed and thoughtful and proactive their plan would be, such that no man could say that they were being irresponsible about returning to play in the middle of a pandemic.

Except the plan had a slight problem: nothing in the plan explained how the league would handle a coronavirus outbreak. It made no provision about what to do if a certain number of players on a given team tested positive, let alone the number of positive tests that would be required to shut a team down. It also said nothing about what, exactly, teams can or should do to ensure compliance with the 113-some-odd pages of rules it laid down about player deportment.

Now, after the Marlins outbreak — after two teams’ schedules have been suspended and over half of one of those teams’ rosters is out of commission — Major League Baseball is getting around to dealing with that. From Jeff Passan at ESPN:

Following the coronavirus outbreak that infected nearly half of the Miami Marlins’ roster and prompted the temporary suspension of the team’s season, Major League Baseball is encouraging players not to leave hotels in road cities except for games, mandating the use of surgical masks instead of cloth masks during travel and requiring every team to travel with a compliance officer who ensures players and staff properly follow the league’s protocol, sources told ESPN.

Passan doesn’t say who the compliance officer will be or should be. Whether it’s a player, a trainer, a front office employee, or a new staffer altogether. But I think that matters and I’d be curious to know what teeth, if any, the job would have to actually enforce things.

I say this because, in the wake of the Marlins outbreak, some have cited the lack of veteran leadership on the team as a reason things got so bad. If that kind of thing is going to be cited as significant — if you’re relying on the typical sort of unwritten rules enforcement that teams use for all other matters of clubhouse deportment — no “compliance officer” is going to make any headway. If teams don’t take this sort of thing seriously and if there is no actual punishment in place for unsafe behavior, players are going to police themselves, or not police themselves, in the same ways they always have.

Speaking of the Marlins outbreak, Bob Nightengale of USA Today dropped this little bit this morning:

MLB has yet to determine whether the Marlins players will be paid for the postponed games if they are unable to play every game in the 60-game season, but will pay the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and Washington Nationals for games missed because of the Marlins’ outbreak . . . The March 26 agreement states that players will receive prorated pay only for the number of games their teams play, but MLB made an exception for the Nats, Phillies and Yankees since they weren’t responsible for the postponed games.

Which is to say that the Marlins might be punished for getting sick. Which, based on the sentiment I’ve seen online, is OK with a lot of people because of rumors about irresponsible behavior the team engaged in that led to their outbreak.

The problem, though: (a) that behavior has not been confirmed in any way, it’s just rumored; and (b) even if some people on the club did do unsafe things that led to their infection, it’s doubtful everyone did, so punishing those who were not involved and who merely got infected because they shared a clubhouse or a bus or a plane with those who were is kind of a problem. And, that aside, MLB, we must reiterate, had no mandatory or enforceable guidelines which actually governed the players’ behavior and there was no one in place to ensure compliance with the league’s suggestions.

Which is to say, MLB instituted a system based on recommendations and trust and now it is considering docking the pay of not only those who may have not followed those recommendations, but everyone who was infected by their irresponsible behavior. Talk about passing the buck.

Anyway, kudos to Major League Baseball for now, a week into the season and months into their plan to resume baseball, finally thinking about ways in which to deal with the global pandemic into which it has thrust itself beyond the merely theoretical. I hope they do come up with something. Better late than never, right?

Follow @craigcalcaterra

Miguel Rojas tests positive for COVID-19 — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

Rojas was reported to be the one who made the final call to have the team play against the Phillies on Sunday

Miguel Rojas tests positive for COVID-19 — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

By Craig CalcaterraJul 28, 2020, 2:11 PM EDT

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas has tested positive for COVID-19.

Rojas, you’ll recall, was the one credited/blamed — depending on your point of view — for making the call, as the team’s defacto leader, for the Marlins to play on Sunday despite the team suffering multiple COVID-19 infections. Which was, actually, a pretty lousy position for Rojas to even be in if we’re being honest. If Major League Baseball was leading on all of this instead of merely reacting and improvising, the individual players would never be in the position to be making such decisions. In light of that, the fact that Rojas, and to a lesser extent manager Don Mattingly, have been scapegoated for Sunday’s game being played is unfair to them.

Whatever the case, losing Rojas would normally hurt the Marlins given that (a) he is, in fact, the team’s leader; and (b) he has started the season 7-for-10 with a homer and five driven in in only three games. The Marlins, however, may not be playing games for some time, however, and it’s quite possible that he’ll go through multiple rounds of COVID testing and come out clean on the other side before his club even takes the field.

Follow @craigcalcaterra

“Vast majority” of Nationals players vote against making road trip to Miami — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

The Washington Nationals just created a MASSIVE headache for Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball

“Vast majority” of Nationals players vote against making road trip to Miami — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

By Craig CalcaterraJul 28, 2020, 12:23 PM EDTLeave a commen

The Washington Nationals are scheduled to play a three-game series against the Marlins in Miami this weekend. The same Marlins who, as you know, are having a thing at the moment. The Nationals, however, don’t wanna go: Ken Rosenthal just reported that “In team vote, vast majority of Nationals players voted against going to Miami for three-game series this weekend.

This is a massive problem for Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball.

To be clear: pursuant to the March Agreement and the later MLB-MLBPA agreed-upon health and safety protocols, teams do not have the power to simply not play games if they think it’s unsafe. That power rests with Rob Manfred and the clubs. If the Nationals decide to simply not get on the bus to the airport after their game against the Blue Jays on Thursday evening, they will technically be engaging in a wildcat strike.

To which I say: good for them.

As we’ve noted in the past twenty four hours, Major League Baseball seems to have abdicated its role in making these sorts of decisions. The Marlins, as has been reported, decided to play on Sunday over a group text. Since then baseball has reacted, postponing some games, but it’s not at all clear what philosophy is guiding them. If the Nationals players do not feel safe playing that series, they should not play that series. If it takes them making that decision for themselves rather than waiting for Major League Baseball to do so, so be it.

In the meantime, this creates a massive problem for Rob Manfred. If he orders the Nationals to play in Miami regardless of their feelings on the matter, he’ll look like a dictator who cares little for player health and will lose whatever confidence the players have in him. If he allows the Nationals to sit out the trip, on the other hand, he has formally ceded his power over the schedule to the rosters of the thirty teams.

Where I think this goes in the next couple of days is a great many conference calls after which some sort of compromise is announced that allows this all to look like the league is handling this pursuant to a plan. But make no mistake, the fact that a team is voting on whether to play games or not — and the fact that they’re leaking that fact to the press — is strong evidence that there is no plan here at all. Or, at the very least, that the players do not have confidence in whatever plan exists.

Follow @craigcalcaterra

Aron Baynes Says He Tested Positive for COVID-19, Hopes to Join Suns in Orlando —

Matt York/Associated PressPhoenix Suns center Aron Baynes confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19.Baynes told Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium he remains hopeful of rejoining the Suns for the restart of the 2019-20 season but that he hasn’t “touched a basketball for over 30 days.”Shams Charania @ShamsCharaniaPhoenix Suns center Aron Baynes (@AronBaynes) tells me…

Aron Baynes Says He Tested Positive for COVID-19, Hopes to Join Suns in Orlando —

Darwinzon Hernandez Cleared To Join Red Sox After Positive COVID-19 Test —

The Red Sox’s starting rotation already had plenty of question marks surrounding it after the departures of Rick Porcello and David Price, coupled with the injury to Chris Sale. Sale, of course, still remains with the Sox after undergoing successful Tommy John surgery in March. But Porcello now is a member of the New York…

Darwinzon Hernandez Cleared To Join Red Sox After Positive COVID-19 Test —

NFL players plead with league to address health, safety concerns — Daily News

NFL players are publicly pleading with the league to address several health and safety concerns on the eve of training camp. The league informed teams on Saturday that training camps will open on time even though discussions with the players’ union regarding testing for the coronavirus and other health and safety protocols are ongoing. Rookies…

NFL players plead with league to address health, safety concerns — Daily News

Blue Jays strike out in bid to have home games played in Toronto — Toronto Sun

One strike and Toronto is out as a home for the Blue Jays in the 2020 Major League Baseball season. Read More

Blue Jays strike out in bid to have home games played in Toronto — Toronto SunOne strike and Toronto is out as a home for the Blue Jays in the 2020 Major League Baseball season.
In a statement on Saturday afternoon, federal Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced that the government has rejected the Jays return to play proposal, denying the club the opportunity to have 30 home games hosted at the Rogers Centre.
“Unlike preseason training, regular season games would require repeated cross-border travel of Blue Jays players and staff, as well as opponent teams into and out of Canada,” Mendicino said in a statement revealed by the Associated Press. “Of particular concern, the Toronto Blue Jays would be required to play in locations where the risk of virus transmission remains high.”
The Jays had previously received clearance from the Ontario provincial government and the City of Toronto but the feds have the final say on border issues.
“Based on the best-available public health advice, we have concluded the cross-border travel required for MLB regular season play would not adequately protect Canadians’ health and safety,” Mendicino said. “As a result, Canada will not be issuing a National Interest Exemption for the MLB’s regular season at this time.”
The Jays had put together an exhaustive protocol plan that went above and beyond MLB’s thorough guidelines but ultimately the federal government denied the press.
The frontrunner for 30 home games remains Sahlen Field in Buffalo, home of the Jays triple A affiliate Bisons.
The announcement comes less than a week before the Jays begin the 2020 season next Friday against Tampa Bay. The home opener, wherever that will be, is scheduled for July 29.
Previously, the team had been granted permission from the feds to conduct training camp at the Rogers Centre where it has been for the past two weeks. The Jays players and staff have been quarantined in the Marriott Hotel attached to the Rogers Centre.


Rams’ Andrew Whitworth says he and his family had coronavirus — Press Telegram

Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth said Friday he and members of his family tested positive for the coronavirus, and called the scare a lesson for NFL players going into the scheduled start of training camps in less than two weeks. Speaking on a video chat by NFL Players Association leaders with pro football reporters, Whitworth indicated…

Rams’ Andrew Whitworth says he and his family had coronavirus — Press Telegram

Yasiel Puig has tested positive for COVID-19 — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

Puig just announced his positive test result on Twitter

Yasiel Puig has tested positive for COVID-19 — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

By Craig CalcaterraJul 17, 2020, 3:02 PM EDT1 Comment

Next up on your 2020 bingo card: Yasiel Puig tests positive for COVID-19. And, Ken Rosenthal reports, he will not be signing with the Atlanta Braves as a result.

Puig, who was reported to be in agreement with the Braves on a deal, but whose signing had not yet been officially announced, tweeted moments ago that, while he is asymptomatic, he has tested positive for COVID-19. He said “I feel absolutely fine. I will be quarantined until I receive two negative test results, which I hope will arrive shortly.”

Puig goes on to say, “I am sad that this has happened, but I believe that everything is in God’s timing and that my return to MLB will happen in His perfect plan and timing for me. When I return to the field I will do so knowing that I will have one less hurdle to overcome.”

Puig hit .252/.302/.475 (92 OPS+) for the Reds last year before being traded to the Indians at the deadline. Once in Cleveland his performance improved, as he hit .297/.377/.423 (109 OPS+). His reported deal with the Braves comes on the heels of Braves outfielder Nick Markakis opting out of the 2020 season and after Braves star first baseman Freddie Freeman was laid up with fairly serious symptoms of COVID-19 himself.

Yasiel Puig tests positive for COVID-19, according to Puig:

— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) July 17, 2020

Earlier today Major League Baseball announced that it had collected 10,548 samples over the past week, but just six (0.05 percent) returned as new positives. Whether that includes Puig or not is not clear. This could be a new one that came in after the report was issued.

To date, the league has collected 17,949 monitoring samples and 23 new positives (18 players, five staff members), which equals 0.1 percent. When combining ongoing monitoring testing and intake screening that began June 27, there have been 93 positive tests (80 players) among 21,701 samples, which translates to 0.4 percent. Twenty-eight of the league’s 30 teams have had at least one positive. Again, whether that includes Puig is not known.

Follow @craigcalcaterraTags: Freddie FreemanNick MarkakisYasiel Puig