The 2020 MLB season will go on despite at least 14 members of the Miami Marlins testing positive for the coronavirus. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the league will not cancel or pause the season which started last week. This came after MLB commissioner Rob Manfred held a meeting with all 30 team owners on Monday afternoon about the protocols put in place for players and coaches.
Manfred also talked about the Marlins' situation on the MLB Network and said it's not a surprise positive tests are happening. "We built protocols anticipating that we would have positive tests at some point during the season," Manfred said via ESPN. "The protocols were built to allow us to play through those positives. We believe the protocols are adequate to keep our players safe." Of the 14 members of the Marlins who tested positive, 11 are players. It has led to the postponement of Monday's and Tuesday's home game series against the Baltimore Orioles. The Marlins will likely return to action on Wednesday.
"I don't put this in the nightmare category," Manfred said when asked if the Marlins situation is a nightmare scenario. "It's not a positive thing, but I don't see it as a nightmare. ... That's why we have the expanded rosters. That's why we have the pool of additional players." The league is looking into when and how the Marlins got COVID-19; ESPN indicates it could have come from a charter flight from Atlanta after the team played there last week.
Manfred was asked what the league would do if it was forced to shut down due to the coronavirus. "A team losing a number of players, making it completely non-competitive, would be something we would have to address and have to think about making a change," Manfred said. He also added the top concern is the health of the players and their families. Manfred then said the next step would be to "minimize the spread of the virus to our employees."
The MLB suspended the start of the season in March when the pandemic began. Each team is set to play 60 games, and the playoffs will start at the end of September, in which 16 teams (eight from each league) will be able to qualify.