BUFFALO (WBEN) - Late last week, it was reported that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred reached out to the MLBPA, essentially saying that a shutdown of the season might be possible if teams can't get their COVID-19 cases under control.
As of now, the two hardest hit teams have been the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals, as numerous personnel, including players and staff, within each organization have tested positive, and it has required the postponement of several games.
With the Blue Jays playing their home games in Buffalo this season, and obviously welcoming various other organizations to the city, some residents have expressed concern, wondering if it's the smartest idea to bring that many people and any exposure risk they might present.
Regardless, Mayor Byron Brown remains confident that safety protocols put forth by the league will protect the community from any potential spread.
"I am comfortable with what Major League Baseball is doing and what the State of New York is doing," said Brown, noting he had the opportunity to join a video meeting with representatives from the league who discussed the plans for playing. "I do not think there will be any additional risk; I think if any risk is identified, it will not be allowed to happen."
County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein were also on that conference call, and they confirmed that teams will not be allowed to leave their hotels except for transportation to games and the airport.
"The protocols for health and safety to protect people against COVID-19 that Major League Baseball has put in place are pretty extensive to protect players, Major League Baseball staff and communities that Major League Baseball plays in," said Brown. "The MLB has agreed to abide by the policies put in place by the state, the county and the city, so they were completely open to any additional layer of policy around health and safety, around the science of protecting people from COVID-19 that the state, the county or the city might put in place."