Say what you want about the NBA bubble, commissioner Adam Silver—and Disney exec Rosalyn Durant—has not only sidestepped a global pandemic, but has delivered the game we all know and love while preserving the health and safety of some of the most popular athletes in the world.
Major League Baseball, however, hasn’t been nearly as lucky. The structure and format of its game make things a bit more difficult to contain. So with no bubble in place, it wasn’t exactly a surprise to learn that prior to the Florida Marlins’ home opener, at least 11 players tested positive for the coronavirus—derailing a season that had barely even begun. And now days later comes the news that Friday’s game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers has been postponed. The culprit, as you can suspect, is COVID-19.
The St. Louis Cardinals have had multiple members test positive for the coronavirus, resulting in Major League Baseball postponing Friday afternoon’s game at the Milwaukee Brewers, a source told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
This brings the number of teams being held out of action on Friday to six, as the Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays have all been benched due to positive tests.
As you can suspect, this does not bode well for the NFL, who will deploy a similar bubble-less strategy—and even larger rosters—that will unquestionably be derailed at some point by the coronavirus. Hell, training camp just started and the Buffalo Bills had to send rookies home on Thursday as a result of five positive tests.
“As we were informed by medical experts as training camp opened, we expected to have positive tests for COVID,” the team said in a statement. “With five since the beginning of the testing period last Tuesday, we decided to take a disciplined, proactive and preventative approach to hopefully eliminate additional cases within our team.”
It’s looking more and more like NFL players who decided to opt-out of playing this season—six from the New England Patriots alone; three of which are starters—made the right call. And in the weeks leading up to the NFL season, expect even more players to do the same thing.
As for Major League Baseball, commissioner Rob Manfred has no plans to suspend its season, but at this rate, it’s a real possibility that sooner or later he won’t have a choice.