Report: Baseball could face shutdown if coronavirus isn’t better managed, MLB commissioner warns

Sports

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon hands the ball over to manager Mike Shildt, left, after being pulled in the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

NEW YORK (WJW) — Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred warns the sport will shut down for the season if the coronavirus isn’t managed better, sources told ESPN.

Manfred reportedly told this information to the MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark on Friday.

The reported conversation follows multiple coronavirus outbreaks within the league.

Eighteen Miami Marlins players and two coaches tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Two St. Louis Cardinals players tested positive on Friday.

League officials have expressed concerns over the presence of the virus and are questioning whether MLB’s protocols are being properly followed by players, the news outlet reports.

Several players who were briefed on the call reportedly fear that if another outbreak materializes or if players do not strictly abide by MLB protocols, Manfred may shut down the season as early as Monday.

During certain games, players have been seen high-fiving each other, spitting and not wearing masks. Some state and local government officials have expressed concern over these behaviors and “pressured baseball about players skirting the mandates outlined in the league’s 113-page operations manual.”

One official even told ESPN “there are some bad decisions being made” when asked about off-the-field choices.

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