Less than two weeks into the 2020 MLB season, we’ve seen two coronavirus outbreaks with two different teams. The Miami Marlins had 20 positive tests, while the Cardinals are at 13.
The unfortunate thing is that both outbreaks could have been prevented. It’s believed that both outbreaks were the result of players leaving the team hotel and then catching the virus, exposing teammates and coaches.
“We did have a couple of individuals leave the hotel,” said Marlins owner Derek Jeter. “We had guys leave to get coffee, to get clothes. A guy left to have dinner at a teammate’s house. There were no other guests on site”.
However, with the Cardinals, it’s reported that some players went to a casino, possibly catching the virus and bringing it back to the team. Since the outbreaks, players and staff are prohibited from leaving the hotel, unless it’s to go to the ballpark.
So, with two MLB coronavirus outbreaks that could have been prevented, should the league punish teams for the decisions of players? Should the league force teams that make irresponsible decisions to forfeit games? There might not be time to make up all the games that the Marlins and Cardinals have missed, so in my opinion, those teams should have to forfeit games that can’t be rescheduled.
Doing that would show players that the MLB is serious about their coronavirus policies, and it will give players an incentive to comply. Are positive cases going to still happen? Yes. But teams should be punished if the cases or outbreaks could have been prevented.
If an outbreak starts because a player needs to get necessities, then that’s one thing. But teams shouldn’t get games rescheduled if an outbreak starts because someone goes to a casino or to a club. They should be automatic wins to the team that complied with the rules.
The Marlins are set to return on Tuesday, while the Cardinals won’t return any earlier than Friday.