Major League Baseball and the MLBPA reached an agreement on health and safety measures for the 2020 season Tuesday, paving the way for a July start, but the deal didn’t come to fruition until after the 5 p.m. ET deadline. The delay resulted from discussions on what the league would do if it were to start the season, only to suspend or cancel it in progress, Andy Martino of SNY reports. In addressing the issue, the league and the players updated the season agreement they made back in March, according to Martino, who obtained the passage.
A piece of the accord now reads: “The Commissioner retains the right to suspend or cancel the 2020 championship season or postseason, or any games therein, in the event that (i) restrictions on travel throughout the United States are imposed; (ii) there is a material change in circumstances such that the Commissioner determines, after consultation with recognized medical experts and the Players Association, that it poses an unreasonable health and safety risk to players or staff to stage those games, even without fans in attendance; or (III) The number of players who are unavailable to perform services due to COVID-19 is so great that the competitive integrity of the season is undermined.
The first two parts were already agreed on, while the third was put in on Tuesday, per Martino, who reports that there’s no specific number of COVID-19 cases among players that would force an in-season shutdown. But if teams can’t field competitive rosters, or if too many clubs can’t complete full seasons, the league could close up shop during the campaign.
While this comes off as a doomsday scenario for baseball, perhaps it shouldn’t be fully ruled out with COVID-19 continuing to run amok. The coronavirus has affected several teams and players in recent weeks, and it continues to take its toll on the general population. The United States set a single-day record for virus cases for the third straight day Friday, exceeding the 40,000 mark for the first time, according to the Washington Post. Thirteen states, including seven with major league teams (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Texas and Washington), have established new single-day records for cases over the past week.
Houston, home of the Astros, has been among many areas hit hard of late. Coronavirus tests in the Houston region were at 3 percent earlier this month, but they’ve risen to 14 percent this week, per the Texas Medical Center (via ESPN.com).
Dr. David Persse, Health Authority for the Houston Health Department, expressed a great deal of concern to ESPN about staging games in the city, saying: “If the public’s health is threatened, I will take a stand. From an operational standpoint, I find myself in the position where I’m going to have to be the one, that if I think it’s going in the wrong direction, to make a stand.”
If MLB and government officials deem Houston or any other city unsafe to play in, the league would move teams to other parks, a league source told ESPN.
The league itself issued a statement to ESPN saying, in part, that “we we will play in a particular location only when we have approval from all relevant governmental authorities. To date, all governmental authorities have been favorably inclined to allow play, at least in empty stadiums, based on our extensive protocols. This situation may change as developments with respect to the virus occur. If and when that happens, we will make adjustments to comply with any change in governmental policy.”
MLB added that it plans to “make operational decisions with the safety of our players and staff as the foremost consideration.”
Regarding whether MLB will allow teams to host fans during a potential 2020 season, league sources informed ESPN that decision will be up to the commissioner’s office and local officials.
I am glad to be able to hopefully see some baseball soon, but I don’t know if MLB will be able to get a whole season in with the way people are being so lax about social distancing and wearing masks.
Potentially very bad look for MLB to broadcast this image of “everything is normal” when it is so obviously not.
Most major sports are going back to normal, some with fans. The Kentucky Derby and Indy 500 have announced limited capacity for their events, but even the 500 will have well over 100k fans allowed.
The media are reporting some legitimate concerns, but they say nothing about the progress made in deaths and therapies, and the fact that huge portions of the country are not seeing the issues mainly in the south and west. In my metro area, everything is essentially normal again, or at least much closer to normal than to how it was in April. And we aren’t experiencing any of those concerning issues. There are more cities like this than not.
Indy hasn’t fully announced how many fans they will have yet. Al they did today was ask those with tickets if they are coming and how many tickets they still might need for this year. Reading between the lines it sounds like 50% might be their goal, but too early to know yet for sure
The problem isn’t limited capacity, the problem is getting to your seat. How do you scooch down a row of fans while social distancing? How do you get past thousands of fans in the lobby, in the washroom, or at concessions? What do you do with people who don’t believe this is real and refuse to social distance? How do you keep fans from yelling, cheering, and wearing masks?
Me, I wouldn’t go within a mile of the place.
You can blame the media all you want, but the numbers are facts, and they don’t lie. Positive tests are up. Hot spots are cropping up. Hospitalizations are on the rise. Several cities are reporting that health care systems may soon be overwhelmed in the way they were in New York in April and May.
This denial of reality is fun and all, but the facts are facts.
Imo there is nothing being projected as “everything is normal” by the developments of the 2020 season.
So much focus on cases.
Nationally, testing is way up (over 600k each of the past two days), deaths continue to plummet, and hospitalizations are holding steady. Even with cases per day never falling beneath 20k the past three months, average deaths are now below 600 (but for NJ’s dump of past deaths en masse yesterday).
Houston and Miami are having local outbreaks, but local officials are implementing targeted restrictions to deal with it.
As for baseball, more asymptomatic cases now means fewer hosts for the virus later. Obviously we don’t want anybody in the hospital, but healthy people normally cruise through their infections. That’s why you don’t hear about athletes getting hospitalized. It’s not just dumb luck.
I agree that the focus on case numbers is flawed. As more are tested, more positives will be found. Early on some of those who likely were positive weren’t able to be tested. A friend of mine very likely had it but was unable to get tested. The more important numbers to watch are hospitalizations and deaths. These numbers will truly show if the virus is slowing down or spreading faster
It’s not the number of cases itself but rather the number of hospitalizations that is most important. The problem of course is new cases suggests increased hospitalizations are likely also in the future.
Yes, testing is up. But it is false to say THAT’S the reason for rising numbers. Percentages of positive tests are rising. Hospitalizations are on the rise, in many regions. To pretend that it’s going away is just willful obstinance from braindead morons.
Depending where you’re at, some area hospitals are at capacity or over. So no….not “holding steady”. There’s a reason texas and Florida (and other states) have had to reclose bars and other congregating areas.
The deaths aren’t high because were into month 4 of this crap and were learning what does and doesn’t work on fighting it.
But this isn’t leveling off or decreasing. It also isn’t to more testing. More people are just getting it because of their actions.
Hospitalizations holding steady? Really…you might want to research. Texas has doubled June 7th. 2100 ..now over 5100. Yep holding steady.
Country wide, deaths/ICU numbers are in fact steady. Texas isn’t the whole country, although many there still think it’s it’s own country.
It’s not just texas, and not, it’s NOT steady in the sense that it’s gone lower.
What you’re seeing is that several areas have decreased, while several other exploded.
There is also a lag time due to incubation plus testing to results delay, followed by escalation in symptoms requiring hospital time. From infection to hospital takes 7-10 days to start seeing numbers.
Much of this mini wave that’s rippling through seems curiously timed to when those idiotic protests sprang up.
So it’s idiotic to protest for racial equality? The only thing idiotic here is that comment
The idiotic comment is the guy who thinks it’s acceptable to ignite rampant infections in the middle of a pandemic by ignoring and rendering useless the only effective method of control we have.
Wearing masks helps. Distance helps, BUT, studies have shown transmission is 13ft not 6ft.
Problem with masks is, virus settles in masks and all over the rest of you. When you touch, you can then spread.
So YES, ABSOLUTELY the protests are idiotic. ALL of them – the inequality, the anti-cop, the pro-cop, ALL of them.
More people will have died, by orders of magnitude, due to the increased viral transmissions coming from the protests, than from every excessive force killing in 10 years. And hint, lots of minorities are dying of covid issues so it’s not a white thing.
Protests of course are in the fabric of this country. Timing however stunk and many of the protestors in some examples were there to cause trouble, not to protest.
Where do you get your 13 feet magic number from? Studies I’ve read have shown the virus can remain the air, meaning there is actually no magic number. As for masks, their designed to prevent spreading the disease when you have to be out. If you were previously exposed or have the virus, other than for seeking treatment, you should be isolating.
Studies are showing that the “idiots” protesting 400 years of racial injustice have very little if anything to do with the recent spike in cases. It has to do with the states that insisted on reopening weeks sooner than they should have, against the advice of all science and medical experts.
Well, worldwide they’re going down, because most other countries took the necessary steps to beat it.
But regionally, it’s rising. It’s like looking at a forest when there’s one tree on fire and saying everything is fine, when tomorrow that one burning tree could spread to surrounding brush.
Critical thinking is hard, but you need to think better.
George Floyd has been dead over a month. There is no evidence that the protests resulted in significant numbers of infections.
wild bill tetley
Ignorant comment terrymesmer. We were told to stay home, social distance etc. They broke protocol and you have the audacity to claim they had nothing to do with it? Either they were part of the problem or you think this virus is a hoax, which is it?
Deaths are going to rise soon, because math. The drop you are seeing is due to the cases in the NYC/northeast area falling off. We are not seeing the deaths from the new breakouts in Fla, Texas, Arizona and in other places since reopenings. Deaths don’t start showing up until about 30 days after detection.
FYI, new cases have spiked to more than 40,000/day, double the rate of a week ago. This is the tip of the iceberg since no new lockdowns have been imposed. Opening up without flattening the first wave has well and truly spread the virus through the community.
Seems at least a logistical nightmare. And i agree with digmike. A possible bad feeling in the belly of many.
Today, for the first time, the US reported more than 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day. There have now been more than 2,510,000 confirmed cases and 127,000 deaths. Today, 13 states also reported new records for the number of new COVID-19 cases reported during a one-week period. Among the states were: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Texas, and Washington – states which all have major league baseball franchises. It’s true there are more cases of COVID-19 being diagnosed because of more testing, but the cases are the result of the spread of infection rather than diagnostic capability. It’s also true there have been fewer deaths attributed to COVID-19 because of greater preparedness and management skills in hospitals, but the patients currently occupying hospital beds are generally younger than those treated during the first months of the pandemic. Alarming through all of this is the discovery that significant numbers of patients who survive COVID-19 are left with permanent lung damage. Considering the increasing spread of COVID-19 and possibility of athletes who survive COVID-19 passing the infection to other family members and possibly being left with some degree of lung disease, MLB may want to suspend the 2020 season sooner than later and, in the process, allow its players and their families to live to fight another day.
We should probably all just stay home for the rest of our lives then right? There are no solutions that are going to make everything better its a matter if deciding what risks are acceptable and continue living our lives. We need baseball right now and in the grand scheme of things how much more risk are they actually taking by playing in a baseball game as opposed to going out in public every day like most of us? Nobody really knows and there is no cure around the corner so no sense and complaining about the sky falling chicken little.
It all comes down to a choice of lifestyle vs. protecting each and every human life even if it means compromising one’s lifestyle.
Luckily, it’s easy to know which category you are supposed to be in….
Pregnant women, must choose the latter.
Everyone else can choose the former, even the people who insist that pregnant women must do the latter.
Confusing? No. Hypocritical beyond words? Absolutely.
Argument by extremes is no argument at all.
However, had the US instituted proper isolation measures when the infection occurred, had a robust public healthcare system, and not tried to reopen before the first wave was over, you would be in a far better situation.
As it is, The US is the World’s biggest hotspot, and without strong measures will develop into an unmitigated disaster zone.
Totally wrong. Slowing it down, basically insured there would be a second and 3rd wave due to not letting the virus run its course naturally. Thankfully, the actual number of cases is closer to 50 million now when including those not tested or sick enough to report which means the second wave won’t be as bad as it could have been, and we should start to see it disappear by early 2022 until the powers that be come up with the next round of mind control. People just don’t understand how a virus works. It continues to infect as long as it has an available host.. Barring worldwide quarantine (not possible) EVERY virus runs its course until herd immunity achieved and it can no longer find a host. Thanks to all this insanity, we have managed to extend the life of this virus.
I was very sorry to hear about the car accident and gun shot wounds that Covid inflicted upon its’ victims.
pato, Most of us don’t have to stay home or quit our jobs. We can live faily normal lives, using social distancing and masks in public. We also don’t have to put an end to sports. We just have to postpone sports for a single season until we have all been vaccinated against COVID-19 and are able to return to life as it was before this pandemic began. For the record, effective vaccines are on the way and, by most authoritative accounts, should be available to most Americans before the scheduled start of next year’s spring training. People with cavalier attitudes about COVID-19 usually haven’t seen how dangerous this virus is. If they saw patients infected with COVID-19 up close and personal they would have entirely different attitudes. They would also understand it is one thing to walk around in public, using social distancing and masks, and quite another thing to be competing, face-to-face, with other athletes, and working in close to proximity to them in dugouts and clubhouses, living with them in the same hotels, and traveling with them on buses and planes. There are people who really understand infectious diseases. They’re not the politicians or TV anchors, but people called, doctors. If you’d spent more time reading what doctors have to say about COVID-19 and what they are currently advising, and less time hiding behind a computer screen practicing sarcasm, you might start understanding why suspending the 2020 MLB season is becoming more possible and necessary by the day. If you really care about players, a team and a sport, grant them the same safety and protection you currently have.
Dude nobody has any more or less safety. But keep towing that line. I know the narrative is to make this out to be the plague but it’s not. It is awful that there have been the deaths that there are. But honestly it’s less than everyone was screaming back in March or April. I’ve worked for a healthcare system in Jersey for a long time. There are plenty of beds and very little in the way of covid cases admitted. But keep trying to take away any positive outlook folks may have right now. That’s exactly what we need.
brucie, Everybody has more or less safety. If that weren’t the case either everyone or no one would get infected with COVID-19. What you’re experiencing now is called a pandemic. You don’t have to take my word for it. It’s been on TV and in the newspapers. This particular pandemic has been described as “the Plague of the 21st century.” You can look that up also. I’d love to know in what capacity you work for a healthcare system in New Jersey, and exactly what kind of healthcare facility in Jersey or anywhere else in the Northeast has “plenty of beds and very little in the way of COVID cases admitted.” My guess is you probably deliver toner and paper to a veterinary clinic every few weeks and occasionally service their printers. I guess that qualifies you as working for a healthcare system that has plenty of beds and very little COVID cases. If you did anything more in healthcare, you wouldn’t be making such misinformed remarks. I’d never try to take away anyone’s positive outlook. I truly believe hope is one of the greatest gifts any of us have. The positive news is that there is a COVID-19 vaccine on the way and this time next year we’ll be able to enjoy baseball again without restrictions or reservations. In the meantime, MLB should try to keep all its players and coaches healthy and out of harm’s way. In the meantime, uninformed individuals should not try to spead false hope by minimizing the severity of the current pandemic.
wild bill tetley
That you are, terry.
Even a moderate case for a pro athlete could be a career-ender. The players are understandably concerned.
wild bill tetley
Highly unlikely. Thank you for the doom and gloom. Getting behind a wheel of a car “could” be a career-ender too.
So if the Miami Marlins are TANKING, as per usual, and over half of their staff gets corona then the entire season could be cancelled?!
Does anybody on this thread honestly know one human being in their life that has become deathly ill strictly due to covid-19 that is under 60 years old? I have family and friends all over this country and none of us know anybody that is actually seriously ill. Its all a political game man, and most of you fell for it. The actual virus fatality rate is about 0.5% when estimating those that were asymptomatic and not sick/scared enough to get a test is about 20 times the reported rate of cases, similar to other very bad flu seasons. How many of you wore a mask to protect grandma every other year of your life, including the SARS year? Anyone? Why now, when the media has never been so biased and our government has gone completely bonkers do you suddenly become sheep and fear for your life? Do yourself a favor and wear a helmet and full body armor when you go for a drive, because you are way more more likely to be killed in traffic than by covid.
Man, you guys are dense. This is why anecdotal evidence is not science.
You are one of 330 million people in the United States. But by your reasoning, what you experience HAS TO also be the experience of 330 million — no matter what they think they are experiencing. By your logic, no one in America is getting sick, getting laid, or has died — ever — because these things have never happened to you.
I have asked the same question on Facebook, Yahoo, Youtube and asked my friends and family abroad to do the same. The only answers I get are angry name callers like yourself who then do not provide an example of their own. The odds are astronomical that with just a few connected Facebook accounts that ONE person would know someone that fits into the very sickly covid category. I am not a young man, so I have a lifetime of deaths, sickness, and life experience to resource from. Did you wear a mask last year? I guess the government didn’t tell you a super deadly virus was going to get you… I was just being honest, but continue to blindly obey the propaganda, it is what they want. Not judging you, about half of all people are completely oblivious to reality now. Have you ever read the Allegory of the Cave? It really fits right now.