The season is happening despite contentious and tedious labor negotiations that ultimately failed, forcing MLB to implement a schedule of its choosing.
The Players Association's somewhat swift agreement with the league on health and safety terms stands in stark contrast to the frustratingly long, financial impasse. On Monday, after the league announced it was going to implement a schedule on its own, it asked the union to respond the health and safety matters by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
In addition to the unusual nature of a two-month schedule, the AP reports the designated hitter will be in the National League, and extra innings will start with a runner on second base—one can assume to avoid games going really long.
There’s been more positive tests recently. The Phillies announced an additional four (two players and two staff) on Tuesday, after sharing that five players and three staff tested positive last week. One of the players from yesterday’s announcement was not in Clearwater, where the other positive tests have happened.
In total, seven Phillies players and five staff have recently come down with COVID-19.
Last week when it was first learned about the Phils positive tests in Clearwater — their traditional spring training home — Managing Partner John Middleton said in a statement, “The Phillies are committed to the health and welfare of our players, coaches and staff as our highest priority, and a result of these confirmed tests, all facilities in Clearwater have been closed indefinitely to all players, coaches and staff and will remain closed until medical authorities are confident that the virus is under control and our facilities are disinfected.”
There were 32 undermined Clearwater tests from last week, which have since gotten results. Other than the three positives reported yesterday by the Phillies, the rest of those tests were negative.
As sporting events begin their return in the next month or so across multiple leagues, positive tests may be a sobering new reality.
CBS Sports analyst and former Miami Marlins President David Samson believes deep rosters will be crucial.