Column: Baseball is in crisis mode as more MLB players and staff test positive for COVID-19. And World Series or bust, we’re all passengers on this strange journey.
The baseball season is more than a week old and already in crisis mode as the number of COVID-19 cases rise across the league.
Seems like just yesterday that Anthony Rizzo was providing hand sanitizer at first base for Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia. It was a Rockwellian moment for the restart of the 2020 baseball season, giving viewers reason to smile and briefly putting the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic on hold. “We’re playing in unusual circumstances,” Rizzo said afterward, admitting he was just trying to bring some fun back after the lengthy shutdown. But only eight days later, baseball already was in crisis mode. The latest news out of Milwaukee — four more positive coronavirus tests in the Cardinals organization — forced the postponement of the three-game series aginst the Brewers at Miller Park. Not long after that news broke, the Brewers announced outfielder Lorenzo Cain opted out of playing the rest of the season. One day earlier, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made his “Shape up or Shut Down” mandate to the players union, according to ESPN, threatening to halt the season if teams don’t take things more seriously. A report said one of the four positive tests was a Cardinals player after two players tested positive Friday, leading to the cancellation of the Cardinals-Brewers series “out of an abundance of caution.”