Those are among the most well known players on the current roster of the Miami Marlins baseball team. Last season the Marlins finished in last place with a record of 57-105. In 2018, they were 63-98, also in last place. We can go on and on and on. The last time the Marlins finished over the .500 mark was in 2009, more than a decade ago. Sad! They’ve made the playoffs only twice in their history and even though they won the World Series both times, it’s a horrible record of baseball.
This year was expected to be more of the same old thing. Now the Marlins are the first team that had their roster ravaged by Covid-19. Between players and coaches, seventeen members of the Marlins have tested positive. After only one weekend of play, the Marlins’ season has been on hold. They have postponed games for the next week.
The good news for major league baseball is it was only the Marlins. Covid-19 was not going to tear apart a team who would be contending for a championship…at least not yet. The better news is as of now, Marlins players have not spread to virus to any of their competitors. The game are continuing.
On Monday, baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred had this response,
“I don’t see it as a nightmare. We built the protocols to allow us to continue to play.”
But what would have happened if instead of the names at the top of this piece, they were replaced by Aaron Judge, Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanley of the New York Yankees or Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers or Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Jon Lester of the Chicago Cubs?
What if the biggest names of contending teams in the sport’s largest markets were the ones infected instead of the bottom feeder, non contending Marlins? Would MLB do anything differently? Would they have shut all teams down for one week instead of only the Marlins? Would MLB treat those teams any differently? What would it take to shut down the sport instead of only one team?
“A team losing a number of players that rendered it completely non-competitive is something we’d have to address,” Manfred said Monday. “Whether that’s shutting down a part of the season, the whole season. You get to a certain point league wide where it does become a health threat, and we’d certainly shut down at that point.”
In a year when a pandemic has shut down life events much more important than sports, the only reason baseball is being played is the money. Billions of dollars are at stake. Losing a team like the Marlins only affects that a little. Losing a team like the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs and a few others would be costly. Baseball 2020 is hanging on by a thin thread. When trying to decide the the fate of the 2020 baseball season, don’t follow the positive Covid-19 tests, follow the money.
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