When the Marlins had an COVID-19 outbreak on their team that impacted more than half of their roster, many fans and officials alike wondered how many missteps like that the league could realistically endure before it would have to cancel the 2020 season. The league went so far as to say that they understood that a lot of teams were never going to be able to play all 60 games and that there were contingencies in place for that. The Marlins have missed a little over a week of games and finally got their first day of no new positives and the Phillies, the team that was directly exposed to Miami, seemingly have avoided any positive cases
Unfortunately, the St. Louis Cardinals stepped in as the latest threat to the league schedule. It was already reported that the Cardinals had multiple positive cases that caused their series against the Brewers to be postponed. Now, it looks like more than just that series could be impacted.
The latest round of coronavirus tests from the St. Louis Cardinals are, in the words of someone with the team, "not good." There are expected to be multiple new positives, sources tell ESPN. Cardinals took more tests this morning, and results of those should arrive by tonight.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 2, 2020
We are doing our best to not openly speculate about which players are or are not infected throughout this whole pandemic as well as trying to avoid too many assumptions, but there is a little to unpack here. If Cardinals officials, who had some amount of optimism just a day or two ago that they could play again next week, are saying that the results of these tests were ‘not good’, it seems like its fair to expect a significant increase in the number of cases on the team beyond just a couple of guys.
What this ultimately means is that the Cards will likely not being playing games any time soon until the full breadth of this outbreak is understood and that is going to impact both the teams they have already played to see if their was any confirmed exposure as well as the teams they were going to play as their schedules are about to get all sorts of messed.
One last note is that commissioner Rob Manfred has already issued an open challenge to players that if they don’t hold to the protocols that are in place to prevent exposure, that cancelling the season is on the table as an option. It will be interesting to see the league’s response to this news.