MLB struggles to keep afloat amidst COVID-19

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The start of MLB has been quite a whirlwind since it began on July 23. Multiple teams have had to postpone games because of positive COVID-19 cases. 

Even with positive cases, baseball is continuing to play games safely. Though, with some teams possibly playing more games than others to end the season, how will determining the playoff format work in this unprecedented time? 

The Miami Marlins were the first team to have players or staff members receive positive COVID-19 tests, as 18 players and two coaches tested positive. 

The St. Louis Cardinals also had an outbreak after reports came out that some players traveled to a casino during their road trip. Indians’ pitchers Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac broke the league protocols, and as a result were sent home and opted for the Indian’s alternate training site.

 Last week, the Cincinnati Reds had a player test positive for COVID-19, which led to their weekend series against the Pirates getting postponed. 

Last Wednesday was the first day of the season every MLB team played on the same day as scheduled. This didn’t last long as the Mets had a player and staff member test positive on Thursday, postponing their game against the Marlins.

 Postponements have caused some teams to play far less games than others. The Los Angeles Dodgers have played 29 games while the Miami Marlins have played 21 games and the St. Louis Cardinals have only played 16 games. Where does baseball go from here? 

Rumors are swirling that a bubble is very possible for the playoffs this upcoming fall. As seen in the NBA, the bubble has been effective and no cases have arisen since the players arrived in the bubble. 

Similar to the NBA, a bubble for the MLB playoffs would most likely be the best method to continue the season and play it in the safest way possible. 

It is inevitable that more positive tests will arise throughout the league. Will any protocol change? Will more players opt out the remainder of the season if cases spike? 

Commissioner Rob Manfred has blamed the outbreaks on “deviations” from the given protocol, and it will be a group effort from the players and staff to continue practicing the specific and healthy protocols if they want to finish the 2020 season.