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MLB season already in danger of being shut down

Not a great sign for sports in general.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

We’re barely a week into the ‘new’ MLB season, and it’s already in danger of being shut down.

According to ESPN, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told the MLBPA that if the sport doesn’t do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could be canceled for good.

The league and players recognize the coming days are a critical juncture following an outbreak on the Miami Marlins in which 18 players and two coaches have tested positive for COVID-19. Two positive tests by St. Louis Cardinals players on Friday exacerbated concerns inside the sport about the presence of the coronavirus and whether players are following MLB’s protocols are being followed properly to prevent outbreaks similar to Miami’s.

Should another outbreak materialize, Manfred, who has the power to shut the season down, could move in that direction. Multiple players briefed on the call fear that season could be shut down as soon as Monday if positive tests jump or if players continue not to strictly abide by the league’s protocols.

Due to the coronavirus, the MLB regular season was delayed from April all the way to July 23rd, but several teams have already been hit hard by outbreaks of the virus. Now it sounds like the league might not even make it another week if things don’t change in a hurry, and that’s a very bad sign for other sports looking to begin seasons this fall.

If baseball can’t safely be played without outbreaks of the virus happening, how on Earth are college football and the NFL going to play an entire season?

The NBA has done well thus far with its restart, but it’s playing in a contained bubble in Orlando with only about half of the league’s teams in action. Football obviously won’t have that luxury, especially college teams who have to play on campuses that will be flooded with thousands of students if they reopen this fall.

Here’s to hoping this is just a blip and the MLB is able to finish its season without any more outbreaks like we’ve seen this week.