Without directly saying so, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred seemed to blame players within the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals for coronavirus outbreaks inside those organizations that affected schedules around the league.
As ESPN's Jesse Rogers wrote, Manfred spoke with ESPN.com Wednesday morning and said that individuals veering from health and safety guidelines caused the outbreaks.
"We believe, in the two serious outbreaks, that we can identify deviations from the protocols that resulted in the situations that we had," Manfred reportedly said. "The key is vigilance. It's vigilance on the part of the commissioner's office, club officials, players and everyone involved in the game."
"Relatively small deviations from the protocols can cause serious problems. That's a reality. ... Any individual act, you say 'wow, not a big deal,' but those individual acts can cause problems."
Nearly two dozen Miami players have tested positive for the coronavirus since the opening weekend of the campaign, and the Marlins were idle from July 27 through the morning of Aug. 4 until the team's 4-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.
Last week, Bob Nightengale of USA Today hinted some Miami players were "careless" following a preseason game versus the Atlanta Braves and that such actions contributed to the outbreak.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, haven't played since a July 29 loss to the Minnesota Twins. MLB insider Jon Heyman reported on Monday that "at least a couple" of Cardinals players visited a casino before positive test results forced the league to temporarily pause the club's season.
Manfred added the league is "re-emphasizing" protocols regarding social distancing, limiting physical contact and the use of masks. He also said teams will upgrade to surgical masks for flights.