Baseball’s season started months later than usual, and it may come to an unexpected end withing days. ESPN reports that Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told Players Association executive director Tony Clark on Friday that if they can’t do a better job of managing the spread of the coronavirus, the season might get canceled.
MLB announced that today’s Cardinals-Brewers game at Miller Park has been postponed due to two positive tests for COVID-19 (both on the Cardinals). The game, which was to be Milwaukee’s home opener, is scheduled to be made up as part of a doubleheader on Sunday. MLB also recently announced that for doubleheaders, each game will be seven innings (instead of nine). In doubleheader games, the automatic runner, which is part of the new extra-innings rule in place for the 2020 regular season, will be placed on second base to start each half-inning after the seventh, rather than after the ninth.
If there is another outbreak, Manfred is likely to shut down the season, according to the report, and that it could happen as soon as Monday if positive tests jump or if players continue not to strictly abide by the league’s protocols. The report further says that state and local governments have pressured baseball about players not abiding by the league’s 113-page operations manual, both on and off the field.