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Sunday, August 02, 2020

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says ‘we are playing’ but ‘players need to be better’

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred remains confident the 2020 season can continue, telling ESPN’s Karl Ravech on Saturday that “there is no reason to quit now” despite positive coronavirus tests that have led to the postponement of 17 games in 10 days.

“We are playing,” Manfred told Ravech. “The players need to be better, but I am not a quitter in general and there is no reason to quit now. We have had to be fluid, but it is manageable.”

Manfred acknowledged Saturday that not every team might play all 60 games this season, and winning percentage could be used to determine playoff teams.

“We’ve got to be flexible on that,” Manfred told The Associated Press on Saturday. “Look, this is one of the reasons that we revisited the issue off the expanded playoffs. If it turns out that some guys play 60, some guys play 58, they have this new thing called winning percentage. We can sort that out.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 02, 2020 at 11:42 PM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rob manfred

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: August 03, 2020 at 01:33 AM (#5967606)
He's willing to consider quitting of course.

Anyway, his main point is "if it all collapses, be sure to blame the players."
   2. BillWallace Posted: August 03, 2020 at 03:53 AM (#5967609)
He's right on this one though. I've been on the player's side on everything for a long time. But in this case it's on them.
   3. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: August 03, 2020 at 07:07 AM (#5967611)
He's right on this one though. I've been on the player's side on everything for a long time. But in this case it's on them.
no, it's not.

it is not possible to play games safely, traveling across state lines every 2-3 days, while covid is spreading uncontrollably across most of the country.
   4. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 03, 2020 at 07:46 AM (#5967612)
When the season gets scrubbed and fingers are pointed on both sides, it's certainly going to make for an interesting and cordial CBA negotiation not long after. The players have been steamrolled by MLB throughout the Tony Clark Era. Maybe this gets them mad enough at ownership to fight back and mean it.
   5. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: August 03, 2020 at 08:22 AM (#5967615)
Yeah, the idea that it's on the players is bullshit. There are many things players can be doing (both on and off the field) better to address this but you can't be traveling around the country and expect to avoid transmission.

MLB needs to start mandating a few things in my opinion;

1. MASKS IN THE ####### DUGOUT. This is a simple one, if you are in the dugout, you wear a mask.
2. Speaking of the dugouts, either shut them down and push the players into the stands or at the very least require a lot more social distancing.
3. Stop with the high fives. I get that players are conditioned to do that but it is something that can be dramatically limited.
4. That situation with the Dodgers and Astros was appalling. While I think the Kelly suspension was appropriate there should have been suspensions/fines dropped on both teams for coming out of the dugout. That is just not OK.
   6. Dr. Vaux Posted: August 03, 2020 at 08:45 AM (#5967617)
It makes no sense to say the players have no responsibility for how bad the situation is and then list four things that are all partly the responsibility of the players. Could MLB be tougher about regulating the behavior? Yes, and they should. But the players could also actually regulate their own behavior, too. And my understanding was that the players association advocated against a bubble setup.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: August 03, 2020 at 08:51 AM (#5967618)
Yeah, the players and the MLB decision-makers are both at fault. There's plenty of blame to go around.
   8. bunyon Posted: August 03, 2020 at 09:16 AM (#5967621)
Agreed that both sides are at fault. However, only one side is on TV every night obviously not paying much attention to the protocols in place. That is a huge PR hit. Right and wrong are important but the players are going to lose this media battle if it goes south.

It really doesn't look like on field team to team transmission is easy. So tightening up the off field, dugout, clubhouse activity to minimize intra-team transmission is the only hope to get through this.

The fault that the players need to do this for the plan to work is entirely on MLB and the USA at large. But having made the decision to play, the players really do have to get better at taking the obvious precautions.
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 03, 2020 at 10:02 AM (#5967624)
no, it's not.

it is not possible to play games safely, traveling across state lines every 2-3 days, while covid is spreading uncontrollably across most of the country.
So, if the Marlins players did indeed go clubbing in Atlanta...not on them?
   10. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: August 03, 2020 at 10:17 AM (#5967626)
So, if the Marlins players did indeed go clubbing in Atlanta...not on them?
great. now explain st louis.


you can blame idiot 20 year olds for doing something stupid as much as you want, but the root of the problem will always come back the american government's response to covid being a colossal failure. not to mention the initial messaging of the president and his propogandists spending a month and a half trying to brand it a democrat hoax, before moving on to blame jina.


also: there's no proof that dancing at a club was the vector for MIA's contamination. for all you know, dan mattingly's daughter gave it to him after she got it while vaping at a local tobacco stand, and then he gave it to everyone else on the airplane to atlanta, before anyone ever went to the club in the first place.

if this country had spent the last 6 months building out a robust contact and trace program, we might have that kind of information to conclusive answer the question of where people got infected, but alas, our government chose to #### all over itself instead.
   11. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: August 03, 2020 at 10:18 AM (#5967627)
6 - I certainly didn't intend to say the players don't deserve any blame. As you noted there are many things happening that the players can control. But in my opinion what has to happen is that the change has to come from the top. MLB needs to set the standard (and should have right from the jump). The players aren't wearing masks in the dugout so yeah, I guess that's on them but why hasn't MLB required it? This isn't difficult.

I'll give you an example. My best friend turned 50 a couple weeks ago and they had a birthday party for him yesterday. I counted 25 adults (and twice as many children) and I was literally the only person wearing a mask (I didn't stay long). I have a real problem with the people who were there not wearing masks (particularly his 70+ diabetic father who had heart surgery last year) but I think this is an area where I am somewhat sympathetic. If the legal authorities are going to say "masks are optional" then when people avail themselves of that option we can't be surprised.

MLB needs to set the standard very clearly but Manfred has failed at that. I think the players are doing the wrong thing but if people can't conduct themselves appropriately it's on the "management" to set the policies.
   12. JRVJ Posted: August 03, 2020 at 10:26 AM (#5967629)
no, it's not.

it is not possible to play games safely, traveling across state lines every 2-3 days, while covid is spreading uncontrollably across most of the country.


Yeah, the idea that it's on the players is bullshit. There are many things players can be doing (both on and off the field) better to address this but you can't be traveling around the country and expect to avoid transmission.



This argument stopped losing any credibility when MLBPA pushed for over a 100 games during 2020.

I'm a pretty charitable fellow and can split the difference on how hard it is to play a professional sport during a terrible pandemic (up to a point), but let's stop the spinning war on this.
   13. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: August 03, 2020 at 10:32 AM (#5967630)
1. MASKS IN THE ####### DUGOUT. This is a simple one, if you are in the dugout, you wear a mask.
2. Speaking of the dugouts, either shut them down and push the players into the stands or at the very least require a lot more social distancing.
3. Stop with the high fives. I get that players are conditioned to do that but it is something that can be dramatically limited.


Here's the thing, the players and coaches are supposed to be clean. If they are, then those activities are perfectly fine. If they re not, if one or more gets infected from outside the game, the team will be shutdown anyway. Yes, if the latter happens, those activities above will spread it to more players, I get that, but the issue isn't so much how many players from a team get infected, but how many teams get affected, and 1, 2, and 3 don't contribute to that.
   14. BillWallace Posted: August 03, 2020 at 11:12 AM (#5967636)
Yes you can argue that MLB should have pushed for stricter protocols with more teeth, but we know that MLBPA pushed back against that. In any case, regardless of what protocols were negotiated the players could take it upon themselves to organize and be safe. I won't comment too much on the off-field stuff because we don't really know, although going out to a club seems not ok. But even just what we can see on TV is irresponsible. All of the hanging around each other with no masks and heavy breathing.

I feel dirty 'defending' the owners. But let's not give the players no agency at all. They are adults and well capable of sucking it up for the millions that they're making and showing a little discipline.
   15. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 03, 2020 at 11:13 AM (#5967637)
I agree with Misirlou, the risks on-field are minimal compared to any risks from travel. The bubble concept seems like the only "safe" way to contain infection.
   16. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 03, 2020 at 11:23 AM (#5967639)
So far, baseball is offering a masterclass on how *not* to handle the pandemic, starting all the way back in March. So far, the NBA is offering a masterclass on *how* to handle the pandemic. What is the NBA doing well so far?

1) The bubble is almost certainly the way to go. The NHL is also having a good experience thus far, but as long as you quarantine the players and personnel away from the rest of the world, those inside the bubble can play the game in a way that looks very, very similar to "normal" times.

2) Embrace the differences. The NBA is using the Orlando setting to create a venue that is more of a TV studio with a basketbal court than it is a basketball arena. There are some cool TV angles they are using, and the backdrop is getting more and more enjoyable to view. They now have these digital fans in the backdrop, with sounds that actually are sounding more and more like the real game. For example, they have a "disappointed home" fan soundtrack that actually gives that grumbling crowd sound when your team goes down 20 in the 3rd quarter. It was weird to have the Utah Jazz home fans actually booing Utah over the weekend via technology, but if you're going to embrace the concept, just go for it.

3) They aren't changing rules, or deciding stuff on the fly. When MLB was like, "well, maybe we'll just have to play a bunch of 7-inning doubleheaders for teams that suffer mass outbreaks," it just looked bush league. THe whole adding a runner on second base thing this year seems hokey, too. Honestly, just tell the batters to stay in the batters box, and the pitchers to throw the next pitch more quickly, and you'll see a lot of positive benefits and media coverage about how much quicker the game feels.

I've loved baseball since I was a little kid, almost 40 years ago, and I hate to sound like an old man talking about how things were better "back in the day". It pains me to see baseball taking so many punches to the face relative to other sports, seemingly losing younger generations of fans, lacking inspired leadership. Pick up the pace of the game, get the average game down to 2:30 or so, and allow the players to express themselves and have more fun, and I think a lot of problems will be solved.
   17. bunyon Posted: August 03, 2020 at 11:23 AM (#5967640)
No one can be considered safe, anywhere. That's the point to all of it. Everyone keeps saying, "Oh, I've been safe." Well, maybe, but you can't prove it and no one can know someone is uninfected without an instantaneous test.

   18. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 03, 2020 at 11:35 AM (#5967642)
In any case, regardless of what protocols were negotiated the players could take it upon themselves to organize and be safe.


As we are seeing in our current nationwide state, leaving it up to people to 'take it upon themselves' to be safe just leads to an uncontrolled outbreak.

Like so many things in the US, folks want to turn this into a morality play. It's comforting to think that responsible people don't get sick and only irresponsible people do, because we all think of ourselves as responsible, and the disease then becomes deserved punishment for irresponsibility. But pandemics don't work that way and human nature doesn't work that way.
   19. JRVJ Posted: August 03, 2020 at 11:36 AM (#5967643)
16, I don't follow the NBA, so I can't comment other than it would seem that the things the NBA is doing better are, up to a point, a consequence of structural advantages which the NBA has on MLB (or the NFL, quite frankly).

In particular in re: 3, the 7-inning double headers are a by-product of the pandemic, but they are also a by-product of rain (the Cincy-Detroit double-header yesterday was all about rain) and of the fact that MLB and MLBPA didn't leave each other much (if any) room in the calendar and a shortish ramp-up (which has been counterproductive for pitchers).
   20. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 03, 2020 at 11:46 AM (#5967645)
The bubble is almost certainly the way to go.


This is probably true. But, on the other hand, if the virus does somehow slip inside the bubble, I wonder if a bubble situation would lead to wider spread. In baseball, if one Marlin gets it, that can turn into 18 Marlins getting it, but, so far, no Phillies even though they played the Marlins and no other teams would have had contact with the Marlins for it to spread from there. But if everybody in the NBA is living in the same hotel and sharing the same locker rooms and eating in the same restaurants and hanging out together, because what the hell else are they going to do in their bubble environment, that could create a situation like a cruise ship where the danger isn't just that suddenly half a team gets it but suddenly half the league gets it.

In other words, maybe a bubble is the best scenario for keeping it out entirely, but what if the virus sneaks in? How easy and effective would it be to limit an NBA outbreak to just one or two teams?
   21. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 03, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5967646)
I think the nature of basketball as a sport probably means that if one team gets it, it will spread to other teams just through playing games, bubble or no bubble.
   22. JRVJ Posted: August 03, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5967647)
20, Agreed.

We have too little data to really come to a conclusion.

Also, having a bubble in Central Florida may not have a been the best location (I understand that Central Florida has some things going for it, like a huge number of hotels, but I do wonder if a bubble in the Northeast U.S. wouldn't have been a safer bet).
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: August 03, 2020 at 11:54 AM (#5967648)
The early returns haven't caused me many regrets over my preseason decision to say goodbye to Manfred League Baseball.

   24. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 03, 2020 at 11:57 AM (#5967649)
I think the nature of basketball as a sport probably means that if one team gets it, it will spread to other teams just through playing games, bubble or no bubble.


True. Also true of hockey (and football). Which is why I do think a bubble makes sense for those sports. But, so far, the evidence seems to suggest that the virus doesn't spread on-field during baseball games - admittedly, the evidence is fairly scant, but, as far as I know, no Phillies have tested positive and we're a week out from them playing the Marlins (and, by the way, why haven't the Phillies played at all this week given their lack of positive tests). Which, if true, I'm not sure a bubble would be the obvious solution in baseball.

Hopefully the NBA and NHL keep their bubbles tight enough that they can stay virus-free.
   25. Eddo Posted: August 03, 2020 at 12:08 PM (#5967652)
why haven't the Phillies played at all this week given their lack of positive tests

In one of the other threads on the subject, someone linked to a Harvard study that showed something like the tests still having a 40% false negative rate for asymptomatic-but-still-infected people. I'd also much rather see MLB err on the side of caution with this, as well; how much worse would it be if they let a team play after 5 days, and then on day 6, a few show up as positives?
   26. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 03, 2020 at 12:37 PM (#5967661)
The early returns haven't caused me many regrets over my preseason decision to say goodbye to Manfred League Baseball.

Same here. No games. No MLB Network. Nothing.
   27. Ron J Posted: August 03, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5967662)
Bubbles with lots and lots of testing "should" work -- assuming tests are accurate and there is good turn around time on the tests.

I think the first UFC card showed this. The virus got into the bubble. But because of doing lots of testing they managed to limit the damage. The had to cancel a single fight, not the whole card.

But we're talking about a single event. And not that many people involved. Not sure if that model is sustainable in a longer run.
   28. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 03, 2020 at 12:42 PM (#5967665)
why haven't the Phillies played at all this week given their lack of positive tests

I'm guessing the revision of the schedule left them off, and some team besides the Marlins has not to play.
   29. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: August 03, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5967669)
Also, having a bubble in Central Florida may not have a been the best location (I understand that Central Florida has some things going for it, like a huge number of hotels, but I do wonder if a bubble in the Northeast U.S. wouldn't have been a safer bet).

the location of the bubble was committed to at a time when central disney was still pre-disney.

there were (and are) disney about the disney, but it hasn't disneyed in the disney's disney yet.
   30. . Posted: August 03, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5967670)
The early returns haven't caused me many regrets over my preseason decision to say goodbye to Manfred League Baseball.


Pitchers' roles have continued to bleed together, starters are even less important, and the plodding oafball is unchanged if not worse. Game times are unchanged. And the faux-intelligent jargon managers and GMs use has gotten even worse.(*)

It's an affirmatively terrible product.

(*) According to Gabe Kapler, the "prospect" pitcher the Giants got for Hamilton, "had a lot of carry through the zone before Tommy John" and "still has a lot of carry through the zone." Jesus, dude, shut the #### up already. You sound ridiculous.
   31. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 03, 2020 at 01:21 PM (#5967675)
I am in my basement zooming with Rob Manfred in his home office.

We are in total agreement that the players on the front lines are to blame.

   32. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 03, 2020 at 01:23 PM (#5967676)
During a respiratory pandemic, a dugout seems to be the worst place to gather. Submerged, surrounded on most sides, enclosed. I'm sure it just traps air exhalations in there.

Close the dugouts.
   33. Zonk paid more than $750 in taxes last paycheck Posted: August 03, 2020 at 01:57 PM (#5967682)
I've made peace with the fact that this season will likely be shut down soon -- but my biggest complaint remains the stupid need to pump crowd noise into the broadcasts. I get the idea that it creates a whole new set of problems if you can overheard conversations, exclamations - plus, with the pre-Covid cheating issues, there are nefarious concerns... but those problems are easily solved with a delay anyway.

This has been my bitterest disappointment about this temporary oddball of a season.

   34. winnipegwhip Posted: August 03, 2020 at 02:09 PM (#5967686)
At least there are Yankee games without John Sterling on the broadcast.
   35. Jay Seaver Posted: August 03, 2020 at 02:11 PM (#5967687)
my biggest complaint remains the stupid need to pump crowd noise into the broadcasts

I believe it's pumped through the park, not just the broadcast, as much because the quiet would be unnerving to the players as to prevent some salty language going out over the air. A large part of me thinks that the games should be eerily quiet, just because it's not good to pretend an abnormal situation is normal, although I might change my mind if actually subjected to that sort of atmosphere.

The fake fans on the Fox broadcasts are this times a million, of course. There's moments while watching those games when I wonder if it's the Murdochs trying to slide the idea that things are fine and we shouldn't really worry about the pandemic into the public's mind, but that seems just a wee bit paranoid.
   36. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: August 03, 2020 at 02:29 PM (#5967688)
Yeah, the players requested the fan noise be piped in I believe. NESN (the Red Sox RSN) is augmenting that with some of their own crowd noise. I'm fine with it but obviously YMMV.
   37. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 03, 2020 at 02:43 PM (#5967691)
One thing the NBA does well to keep the bubble clean: They test players at the end of the day, when they are supposed to go back to their rooms, and then the tests comes back before they leave their rooms the next morning. This minimizes the time when somebody might be positive, but not yet identified as such.

With the bubble, you can assign people to rooms, check on them to be sure they meet curfew, conduct systematic testing, and get them back their results in an organized fashion.

In the summers between college years, I used to run a high school exchange program with foreign students and their American host families, and we'd do trips to NYC and/or DC as part of the program. To me, the NBA and NHL are like what we did: Everybody stays in the same hotel, I'd put tape on their hotel door every night after checking them for curfew, and if they broke the tape overnight, they were sent home immediately at their expense. No problems, no hijinks.

MLB would be like letting the students set up their own hotel reservations wherevee they wanted in greater NYC, telling them what time they should get back to their room, and then telling them to meet me at the Empire State Building at 10 am or something. You know that is not going to go well.


MLB was so determined to have televised playoffs this fall that they would basically have a bizarro "season" just to get to a seeded playoff format. Now, they don't even care if the teams play 60 games. It's farcical.
   38. Zonk paid more than $750 in taxes last paycheck Posted: August 03, 2020 at 02:45 PM (#5967692)
I believe it's pumped through the park, not just the broadcast, as much because the quiet would be unnerving to the players as to prevent some salty language going out over the air. A large part of me thinks that the games should be eerily quiet, just because it's not good to pretend an abnormal situation is normal, although I might change my mind if actually subjected to that sort of atmosphere.


Hmmm...

I was walking past Wrigley the other day while the Cubs were playing - had to run an errand - and I didn't hear it, so I assumed it was solely a broadcast thing... maybe I'm wrong.
   39. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 03, 2020 at 02:49 PM (#5967694)
I'd put tape on their hotel door every night after checking them for curfew, and if they broke the tape overnight, they were sent home immediately at their expense. No problems, no hijinks.
High school students couldn't figure out how to buy a roll of tape for themselves? I'm slightly skeptical.
   40. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: August 03, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5967695)
High school students couldn't figure out how to buy a roll of tape for themselves? I'm slightly skeptical.
if you don't tell them it's there, they won't consider the possibility.
There's moments while watching those games when I wonder if it's the Murdochs trying to slide the idea that things are fine and we shouldn't really worry about the pandemic into the public's mind, but that seems just a wee bit paranoid.
the murdochs are so far removed from humanity that this possibility is flatly ridiculous.

i wouldn't put it past someone they hired, though.
   41. BillWallace Posted: August 03, 2020 at 02:58 PM (#5967697)
As we are seeing in our current nationwide state, leaving it up to people to 'take it upon themselves' to be safe just leads to an uncontrolled outbreak


Yes but that doesn't excuse the behavior. With billions of dollars in salaries at stake you can find a way to organize and get fellow players in line to follow some common sense protocols. Masks on, distance. If you don't need to be in the dugout then go sit in the stands, mask still on.
   42. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: August 03, 2020 at 03:00 PM (#5967699)
The fake fans on the Fox broadcasts are this times a million, of course. There's moments while watching those games when I wonder if it's the Murdochs trying to slide the idea that things are fine and we shouldn't really worry about the pandemic into the public's mind, but that seems just a wee bit paranoid.


I don't mind the pumped in crowd noise. It blends in with the background in an agreeable way. But the fake CGI fans are jarring. I saw them for the first time on Saturday and was immediately repulsed by them.
   43. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: August 03, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5967704)
Yes but that doesn't excuse the behavior. With billions of dollars in salaries at stake you can find a way to organize and get fellow players in line to follow some common sense protocols. Masks on, distance. If you don't need to be in the dugout then go sit in the stands, mask still on.


I don't think it excuses the behavior but at some point management has to take charge, or to use a term "manage" the situation. Fine, MLB and MLBPA say no rule on masks but we'll trust everyone to socially distance themselves and wear masks when they can't. Then after the first weekend when the entire ####### sports world (at least) is watching and that's not happening it's up to Manfred as the leader of the sport to say "OK you had your chance to deal with it like grown ups but you failed your test. Masks are required at all times except when you are in the field or at bat and I'd better see a reduction in high fives or that's going to change too."
   44. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 03, 2020 at 03:27 PM (#5967705)
39. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 03, 2020 at 02:49 PM (#5967694)
I'd put tape on their hotel door every night after checking them for curfew, and if they broke the tape overnight, they were sent home immediately at their expense. No problems, no hijinks.
High school students couldn't figure out how to buy a roll of tape for themselves? I'm slightly skeptical.


What happens is that you put all the students on the same floor or two, on an upper floor of the hotel. You (and the extra chaperones who travel with the group) all check the 20 or so rooms at, say, 10 pm to make sure everybody is in their room, and then you put tape on the outside of the door of their room.

If one of the students opens their door, the tape comes off. Even if they go in another room, they could theoretically re-tape the door of that room when they leave. But when they try to go back to their own room, they cannot re-tape their room, and they are caught the next morning.

It is really low-tech, but it still works to this day (my kids now go on trips like this, and they still use this approach). The two keys: Don't books room on a lower floor of a hotel, and make sure you have trustworthy chaperones helping you with the trip.
   45. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 03, 2020 at 03:30 PM (#5967706)
Reports that the Cardinals outbreak may be linked to some players going to a casino reinforces the idea that the problem is behavior away from the ballpark. 28 teams have been fairly good on that, two not so much, and now MLB is apparently prohibiting teams from leaving their hotels, which may help some. Home team behavior away from the ballpark remains a possible concern.
   46. BillWallace Posted: August 03, 2020 at 04:11 PM (#5967710)
t's up to Manfred as the leader of the sport to say "OK you had your chance to deal with it like grown ups but you failed your test.


And isn't that what he's doing here?

Masks are required at all times except when you are in the field or at bat and I'd better see a reduction in high fives or that's going to change too.


Can he impose that? Or is that negotiated.

The way I see it is that in negotiating hard and collectively, which is exactly what they should have done, the players have taken on some of that management responsibility. It's on them to follow through on that, so act collectively as a union in their own best interest.

If they were just wage slaves, then sure... this is on management. They've negotiated themselves above wage-slave status and good for them, but it goes both ways.
   47. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 03, 2020 at 04:33 PM (#5967712)
Inform teams that they must immediately call up players to replace anyone on the COVID IL and deal with the 40-man roster fallout when they return. Watch owners become suddenly engaged and proactive.
   48. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 03, 2020 at 05:41 PM (#5967733)
On the one hand, there's a lot here that seems like a fiasco. But if you dig down, I think there's actually some lessons here that could lead to the season getting completed. On the downside, the Marlins and now the Cardinals are pretty clearly showing that there are problems containing outbreaks within a team. One or two Marlins became 18 positive tests and a couple of Cardinals have become seven positives so far (and, based on the experience of the Marlins, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that number go up). But we still haven't seen any transfers between teams, which is encouraging.

And, if the rumors are true, the Marlins outbreak is linked to a strip club and the Cardinals outbreak is linked to a casino. Which are the sorts of things that should, in theory, be preventable. It's kind of a shame that "you really shouldn't leave your hotel room" has to become "you are forbidden from leaving your hotel room", but if that's how it has to be, then that's how it has to be.

But - and again, this assumes that rumors are true, which is a bit of a sketchy assumption, I grant you - it seems like we haven't seen any kinds of transmissions that are unavoidable - nobody caught it from the charter flight pilot or from a hotel maid or anything. So, I can kind of see why MLB is soldiering on. It sucks for the Marlins season and probably sucks for the Cardinals season and hopefully nobody else suffers the fate of Eduardo Rodriguez or worse. But I'm starting to kind of see Manfred's point here in not throwing in the towel just yet. That said, boy is there a downside risk of this thing going downhill very far, very fast.
   49. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 03, 2020 at 06:56 PM (#5967753)
To #48's point, if baseball did the bubble, I think they would have a better chance of avoiding a problem than other sports, because there is so little contact or even close proximity of most players, most of the time. And guys like the starting pitchers not playing that day shouldn't even be near the dugout during a game.
   50. Khrushin it bro Posted: August 03, 2020 at 07:25 PM (#5967764)
it seems like we haven't seen any kinds of transmissions that are unavoidable - nobody caught it from the charter flight pilot or from a hotel maid or anything.


How can we possibly know that? Were all 18 Marlins players at the club and nobody else got it? I'd say inter-team transmission is almost certainly how some or most got it.
   51. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 03, 2020 at 07:37 PM (#5967767)
Not sure where to ask this question. Someone mentioned changing the rules in mid stream.


What is the current situation with respect to the final standings in the event the entire season is not completed? Is there a minimum number of games that have to be played for a team to qualify or is it another: "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it" thing?

I hate this changing rules on the fly thing.
   52. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 03, 2020 at 07:39 PM (#5967769)
How can we possibly know that? Were all 18 Marlins players at the club and nobody else got it? I'd say inter-team transmission is almost certainly how some or most got it.


Yes, that was my first paragraph. Once it reaches a team, it seems to run riot. By “nothing avoidable”, I just meant that the rumor is that with both of the hard hit teams, the initial infection was supposedly due to somebody doing something stupid and avoidable. It’s not exactly a strong defense of MLB’s season.
   53. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 05, 2020 at 02:32 AM (#5967952)

If one of the students opens their door, the tape comes off. Even if they go in another room, they could theoretically re-tape the door of that room when they leave. But when they try to go back to their own room, they cannot re-tape their room, and they are caught the next morning.


what happens when you wake up the next morning and ALL the tape on ALL the rooms is broken?
   54. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: August 05, 2020 at 08:34 AM (#5967959)


What is the current situation with respect to the final standings in the event the entire season is not completed? Is there a minimum number of games that have to be played for a team to qualify or is it another: "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it" thing?

I hate this changing rules on the fly thing.


I don't know but presumably if every team can get up over 50 then they'd move on with playoffs. If some team or teams gets stuck on 35 or something I suspect that's going to mean the season is cancelled.

While I get the frustration with changing rules on the fly I think MLB is doing a good job of it. I think the current situation simply requires a willingness to adapt on the fly. It's not perfect, it's not ideal, but it's what we got. I think if you aren't going to be in a bubble then you don't have a choice but to adapt on the fly.
   55. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: August 05, 2020 at 09:53 AM (#5967973)
I had a related question about post season awards. At what point does it start making sense to give out MVP awards? A bunch of fangraph writers were catching heating (in FG comments) for touting Nicholas Castellanos for the MVP before the "season" started, but Castellanos is hitting 368/442/921 right now, and leading the league with six home runs. If he hits a couple more and they call the season next week, it seems to me that it would be silly give him a plaque and have a ceremony at home plate next April and all that.
   56. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: August 05, 2020 at 10:26 AM (#5967978)
They gave awards in 1994 so I don't see why you wouldn't give them now. It's the baseball season we had. That doesn't mean that someone needs to consider Castellanos' 2020 season on par with Yastrzemski's 1967 or anything but there is no harm in giving the award.
   57. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 05, 2020 at 10:39 AM (#5967982)
Yeah, any argument about the integrity of the MVP award pretty much ended with, I dunno, Willie Hernandez? Rollie Fingers? Zoilo Versalles? Marty Marion?
   58. SoSH U at work Posted: August 05, 2020 at 12:14 PM (#5967991)
Zoilo's 1965 was surely a fluke, but he doesn't belong on that list.

   59. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 05, 2020 at 01:03 PM (#5967998)
. . . presumably if every team can get up over 50 then they'd move on with playoffs. If some team or teams gets stuck on 35 or something I suspect that's going to mean the season is cancelled.
I suspect MLB is OK with going by winning percentage if some teams don’t make it 60 games, as long as they play a certain minimum, perhaps ~ 40 games. If the Marlins only play 10 games because they have repeated coronavirus outbreaks, they might be excluded, but MLB wouldn’t shut down the playoffs because 1 or 2 teams didn’t play enough to be considered, IMHO.
   60. RJ in TO Posted: August 05, 2020 at 01:07 PM (#5968000)
Zoilo's 1965 was surely a fluke, but he doesn't belong on that list.
Yeah, he led the league in runs, doubles, triples, and total bases, while playing shortstop at a Gold Glove level for a team that won 100+ games. He was second in WAR in the AL that year, with 7.2, and behind only Sam McDowell who wasn't going to win an MVP as a pitcher with only a 17-11 record. Versalles was an incredibly reasonable selection for the MVP.
   61. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 05, 2020 at 01:24 PM (#5968005)
Duly noted re: Versalles. I retract him from the list.
   62. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: August 05, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5968011)
I suspect MLB is OK with going by winning percentage if some teams don’t make it 60 games, as long as they play a certain minimum, perhaps ~ 40 games. If the Marlins only play 10 games because they have repeated coronavirus outbreaks, they might be excluded, but MLB wouldn’t shut down the playoffs because 1 or 2 teams didn’t play enough to be considered, IMHO.


Yeah, 40 might be the number. I was guessing. The problem with a team playing 25 games or something like that is that immediately means there are 35 missed games by other teams and I think if one or two teams misses some very large number of games that the number of teams playing a smaller than desirable number of games is going to shoot up.

That said MLB desperately wants to get the season in so I suspect they are going to go balls to the wall to make it happen.
   63. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 05, 2020 at 02:19 PM (#5968016)
The problem with a team playing 25 games or something like that is that immediately means there are 35 missed games by other teams and I think if one or two teams misses some very large number of games that the number of teams playing a smaller than desirable number of games is going to shoot up.
There may be at least one baseball operations intern with too much time on his hands who has already gamed out the best part of the schedule to miss games against better opponents due to the coronavirus. Hopefully, wiser heads will reject the idea of inducing a strategic coronavirus outbreak to create an easier schedule. Of course, that might not be enough to deter the fiend, at least in the movie version of this scenario.
   64. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: August 05, 2020 at 02:51 PM (#5968019)
Oh man, I LOVE that idea. If we can't get Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper on board for this what are we even doing?

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