How Coronavirus Affected the MLB

Shen Yang-Lim, Sports

The coronavirus outbreak has had devastating effects all around the world. Many people have died and get infected each day, and athletes are no exception. Many sports leagues in the US have had to make changes to their season schedules including the NBA, NHL, NFL and the MLB. 

The MLB  had their whole schedule rearranged due to the outbreak and many 

 

teams have had players and staff infected with the disease. These include the Miami 

 

Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Miami Marlins were one of the very first

 

teams to contract the virus with their pitcher, Jose Urena, out for the season opener just 

 

ninety minutes before the tipoff. After the game, the infection spread to three other staff 

 

members and the team ended up having to stay overnight in Philadelphia because they 

 

could not board the plane back home.

 Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that the Marlins COVID-19 outbreak could put the season in jeopardy. “If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year,” Fauci said.

The MLB proposed the idea of letting the games be played on spring training fields 

 

with no fans present in Florida and Arizona. Schedules have been systematically changed 

 

by region, so that teams located near each other can play. Many overseas exhibition games 

 

have also been canceled, such as games set to take place in Japan and Taiwan, for the safety 

 

of those countries’ inhabitants. The world exhibition games may not return until the year 

 

2023, according to cbssports.com. 

 

Many team facilities have been shut down due to many players and staff catching 

 

the virus as well. Some teams are aware of it and still continue to reopen their facilities 

 

despite the heavy risk it possesses. The Texas Rangers were the first team to start 

 

doing this.  After two weeks of reopening their buildings, several members of the 

 

Rangers were immediately infected and the team was forced to shut down once again. 

 

Players have also been vocal about their concerns for playing in the 2020 season, such as 

 

Mike Trout of the Angels. “I still don’t feel comfortable,” Trout said. 

The MLB eventually did a league wide coronavirus testing of 3,185 players and only 1.2 percent came back positive, as of July 3. Even though this was a low percentage, many umpires and players decided to opt out from participating in the season. 

Some players have even shown symptoms of the virus. After the Marlins reported 

 

their first infection, the team announced that there will be a daily testing operation for the 

 

staff and players on their team. Following the Marlins outbreak, the Phillies were tested 

 

after the game. No players tested positive, but two members of the coaching staff were.      

 

The MLB investigated, and it turned out that those were false positives cases.  

 

Commissioner Rob Manfred said that the league would be fortunate if they get to complete 

 

the season of 60 games.