With positive COVID tests sweeping the Marlins locker room and leading to two postponed games today, MLB has taken a lot of shots about their perceived lack of preparedness compared to the NBA’s restart. And while MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has taken some lumps this year with the player’s union/owners battle and this new situation, he did sit down for a long-form interview with MLB Network’s Tom Verducci to answer a lot of important questions:
Watch Commissioner Manfred's entire interview with Tom Verducci on MLB Tonight. pic.twitter.com/oAyJ1NoEyk
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 27, 2020
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Right from the jump, you can tell that Rob Manfred really wanted to push that MLB does have “protocols” after we’ve heard so much about the NBA’s planning while MLB had players voting over text message about whether to play in the face of positive tests with no league intervention.
The MLB put this season together by the seat of their pants in a variety of ways. They’ve proven that with this situation, as well as Juan Soto’s last-minute positive test on Opening Night. As Manfred says in the interview, a bubble wasn’t an option. COVID rates rising across the country while teams still have to travel also doesn’t help. They were kind of screwed regardless of how these early stages went.
But there’s maybe some hope to be found. This all sounds a lot like the NBA’s Rudy Gobert situation that led the league, and the world in general, to take COVID virus issues infinitely more seriously. And if the big loss to get to that point is the Marlins? That’s about as much of a blessing in disguise as possible.
So yes, MLB sounds a lot like a kid who crammed for a test the day before it came up in this scenario. And Rob Manfred may very well have just learned the word “protocol” from MLB’s PR team right before the interview. But they exposed a major issue early enough in the season that there may be a hope of the show going on.
And the big lesson, as always? The less the Marlins are involved, the better.
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