Major League Baseball may have hit another bump in the road to its 2020 season.
The league and the MLB Players’ Association have been at odds about how to start the shortened season. It got ugly Monday, with MLBPA executive director saying the players were “disgusted” after commissioner Rob Manfred backtracked and said he wasn’t confident a season even would happen.
And according to USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale, several players and coaches have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, further putting the season in danger.
“Major League Baseball informed the players union Monday that several major-league players and coaches have tested positive for COVID-19, believing it might be unsafe to start the season early even if they soon reach an agreement in their labor dispute,” Nightengale reported Monday night. “The news of the positive tests, and fear of a second wave of the virus wiping out the postseason, MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem says, is the primary reason they are adamant about finishing the regular season on Sept. 27.”
Halem, in a letter to lead union attorney Bruce Meyer, expressed concern of a “heightened risk” to playing into the fall.
“We believe it presents a heightened and unnecessary health risk to your membership to play deeper into the Fall,” the letter said, via Nightengale. “The proliferation of COVID-19 outbreaks around the country over the last week, and the fact that we already know of several 40-man roster players and staff who have tested positive, has increased the risks associated with commencing spring training in the next few weeks.”
Time is running out, and things just seem to get tougher and tougher by the day.