We are barely two weeks into the start of baseball 2020 and we already have a few teams going off the tracks maintaining safety from the Covid virus. Several of you have reached out to me recently and asked for my thoughts on what is going on regarding the surge in cases. You are all equally concerned, and discouraged, by the players performance in staying out of situations that are dangerous.
Every team, except the Chicago Cubs, have had at least one person test positive for the virus so far. The Cubs have set protocols in place, and are self governing themselves, much tougher than other teams and it shows. Almost half of the teams in baseball have multiple players who have tested positive to date, and baseball is trying to protect them.
The two worst offenders have been the Miami Marlins, who have been shut down for a week with 18 players testing positive, after reportedly going out to a club in Atlanta, and then going to Philadelphia and playing knowing they might have a problem.
The most recent idiots are the St. Louis Cardinals with seven players and six staff, so far, testing positive after several players decided it made sense to head out to a casino and mix it up with fans and other general public. More test results are expected today and that number will likely increase. They proceeded to hop on a plane and bring the virus to Milwaukee.
Kansas City has had at least five cases, the Angels have four, Texas with three, the Astros with three, and let's not forget the Phillies who started all this mess with multiple people infected before the season started. Almost 20% of the games have been cancelled, or postponed, so far and we are only two weeks into the season, wait until players get tired of being good.
If I'm a player on one of the teams who has started out the season on a nice run, and I decide that I will not sit in my hotel room for another night, and then go out and get myself infected and bring it into the locker room, or bench, I should expect to be beaten severely by my teammates. This virus is hard enough to hold off without putting yourself in harms way on purpose because you just have to have the wings from Shelly's Totally Nude Review.
Players that knowingly violate policy are selfish and should be suspended for the season. How could you look your fellow teammates in the eye, knowing you have possibly cost them a chance for postseason play, with your behavior? As a player, do you really want a guy like that on your team? I have more respect for the player that opts out, because he is concerned for his or his families health, than I do for the guy who can't stay in his room.
It is easy, and fun, to blame the commissioner, Rob Manfred, for this mess, but honestly he can only put guidelines and policy in place, it is up to each player to follow the rules. Unless you are going to assign a guard to each player, who will follow them around everywhere they go, it is impossible to stop bad behavior if players want to do it.
Now that the season is underway, baseball is determined to keep it going, despite the recent trainwreck. However, another week of multiple teams going rouge, and forcing more schedule changing and game cancellations, and it will be tough to continue. At some point you have to be able to control your players, and these are young guys, used to doing what they want, without anyone telling them no ever, now having to follow rules and being held accountable, for the first time in their lives, and they are struggling.
As Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo tells CBS2 Chicago, players are very concerned about the spread COVID-19 in their sport. “It is definitely in a lot of guys minds, that is for sure. Especially with a couple of Cardinals guys, reports of that are out today,” Rizzo said. “We all want to play and the guys here in our clubhouse know that the importance of sticking together and being as prudent as possible away from the field and on the field.”
That is what being responsible sounds like.