PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – JULY 9
By Leo Haggerty

66 MEN OUT AND COUNTING

As baseball prepares to start the abbreviated 2020 season, the first round of intake coronavirus testing has been completed.  This eight-day process now allows players and staff to start summer camp workouts except for 66 individuals that came back positive.

The Major League Baseball Players Association announced that, as of Tuesday evening, 3,740 tests had been administered.  Of that amount, 3,674 were negative and that adds up to 98.2%.

The intake phases took into consideration only those individuals that had not shown coronavirus symptoms.  There was a three-step process that included a temperature check followed by a body fluid sample then culminating with a blood collection.  Definitely a good start for MLB.

After completely that round of testing, individuals were required to self-quarantine until those results were reported.  That would take approximately a day or two.

If the test is negative, which indicates there is no signs of transmittable Covid-19, then that person can report to summer camp.  Play ball, maybe.

The 66 that tested positive, which were comprised of 58 players and eight staff members, now will enter a separate protocol.  All those individuals must now show multiple negative tests before they move to the second “monitoring” phase.

The monitoring phase, which began after the intake process was completed, yielded more positive tests.  Of the 10 positive results, eight were players and the other two staff members.  They will go into a separate protocol as well.

In the monitoring phase, all players and team officials will be tested every other day for the rest of the season as well as the postseason.  Results will be available within 24 to 48 hours. Still have the train on the tracks to start the season at the end of July, correct?

Well, now the plan starts to go south.  MLB has readily admitted that there were issues processing samples in both phases.  That led to several clubs, notably the Nationals and the Astros plus the Cardinals along with the Giants, that has to cancel workouts because of a lack of information about the status of tests.  Three other franchises had to alter their schedule for the same reason.

The Big Leagues have to hope that every one of the players and team officials now practice safe and prudent measures so they don’t catch the coronavirus and infect the rest of the people on their team.  Looks good on paper but, in reality, will this work?

Here’s my questions to MLB.  First, do you honestly believe that all 30 teams will be able to make it through the 60-game regular season without at least one team, and most probably more, becoming infected with Covid-19?

If MLB does, they have their head in the sand.  And, here’s my follow-up query.  If that happens, what do you do?  Is there a Plan B or does Major League Baseball just eliminate those teams from play?

As you can see, this is a catastrophe just waiting to explode.  With that being said,  that leads to my next question of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and that is why am I the only person that sees this as the apocalypse for baseball?

Plain and simple, it all comes down to risk versus reward.  The risk far outweighs the reward in my opinion.  What’s yours?