Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred just made a very questionable statement regarding the remainder of the 2020 season.
According to ESPN's Karl Ravech, Manfred doesn't see a reason to cancel the remainder of the baseball season despite a rising number of coronavirus cases across the league.
Comissioner Rob Manfred tells me “We are playing. The players need to be better, but I am not a quitter in general and there is no reason to quit now. We have had to be fluid, but it is manageable.”— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) August 1, 2020
MLB Network's Jon Heyman also tweeted Saturday that there's a "strong commitment" from Manfred to make the season work amid the coronavirus pandemic:
There was an MLB owners call yesterday about the Covid crisis, and there’s a strong commitment from Manfred (and owners) to keeping health the priority but also to make this season work — and to play as close to 60 games as possible. To sum up, plug isn’t about to be pulled.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 1, 2020
Manfred's comments come after the Miami Marlins had 18 players and two staff members test positive for COVID-19 during baseball's first week in action. The Marlins season currently is on hold as the league tries to figure out the next steps.
The coronavirus also has made its way to other Major League Baseball clubhouses. The Philadelphia Phillies' weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays has been postponed after multiple members of the organization have tested positive for COVID-19.
The St. Louis Cardinals also reported two positive cases on Friday, resulting in their series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers being postponed. The Cardinals reported an additional four cases on Saturday, bringing their total to six and having their weekend matchup postponed.
Manfred reportedly sent a memo to the MLBPA on Friday stating that the season is in jeopardy and the players need to get their act together if they want to salvage what remains of the 2020 campaign. Apparently, something has changed, though, as it appears Manfred will be allowing the season to continue.
At this point, it seems like Manfred can't make up his mind and doesn't necessarily know what to do moving forward. If one thing's for sure, the league needs to have more strict safety protocols that restrict players from going out to night clubs, like a few Marlins did, or casinos, like a few Cardinals did.