Yesterday, it was revealed that 17 members of the Miami Marlins organization tested positive for COVID-19 before their two-game series with the Orioles was about to begin. Within a day, the number was up to 18 but an investigation from the MLB had already been launched. Many reports from usually credible sources say that Marlins players had “hit the town” while in Atlanta before Opening Day. It is unknown which players/coaches tested positive.
With many professional sports attempting to finish their seasons, the MLB’s tactics in starting and completing the 60-game season have been questioned since the start. The NBA has reported zero positive tests over the past two weeks in the bubble, the NHL also reported zero positive tests in their Canada-based bubble, the MLS has reported zero positive tests and the NWSL has had zero positive tests since their tournament began at the end of June. There is definitely a trend in the sports who are seeing zero to little positive tests, the MLB is not a part of that trend. Teams are still traveling all over the country and in the case of the Marlins, restrictions on players seem to be fairly loose.
The NFL will be starting training camps soon and regulations are very similar to that of the MLB’s. Many players have started opting out before any announcements on starting dates have been made. Not all players have given exact reasons to opt out, but many have cited health concerns not only for themselves but for their friends and family. Expect many more opt-outs from NFL players if the league does not tighten their plans for a 16-game season while keeping player health as the top priority.
The MLB and each team will soon be upping to daily testing, which will hopefully keep players and others in check. If breakouts like the Marlins’ continue to happen, say goodbye to the 2020 season.
UPDATE: Jeff Passan just reported that the MLB is updating their rules and protocols. Players are encouraged but not required to stay put in team hotels during away games and are now being required to wear surgical masks. Compliance officers will also travel with teams to monitor players and staff.