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While MLB and the MLBPA continue to try to figure out how to get back to playing major league baseball, the skyrocketing COVID-19 figures in Florida and Arizona (among other states) could knock that plan aside. The news broke today of eight personnel in the Philadelphia Phillies camp (five players, three staff) who tested positive for COVID-19 while one player in the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization was showing symptoms, causing the Blue Jays to shut down their complex, reports Jeff Passan.
Passan noted that the Blue Jays player was a pitcher on the 40-man roster “who recently spent time with players in the Phillies’ minor league system,” and is awaiting results of his COVID-19 test.
COVID-19 cases are on the rise in much of the United States and reports of positive tests throughout sports leagues are coming in quickly.
Elliotte Friedman reported that the Tampa Bay Lightning have shut down their training facilities due to multiple cases of COVID-19 while the Maple Leafs’ own Auston Matthews has reportedly tested positive for the illness.
To go along with several cases in the NFL and, apparently (although not confirmed) a case on the PGA tour, it looks like sports might have to be put on hold for an even longer than we might have thought.
Health and safety of the players is going to have to be the top priority for any league trying to restart during this pandemic and Florida is a spot of choice for most leagues either for training camps, home of a number of teams or for the resumption of play. The NBA in particular is looking at a resumption of play at Walt Disney World, quarantining players at WDW Resort hotels in order to get the rest of a season in. With COVID-19 getting more and more traction in Florida (and with rising cases in Arizona too), it looks like all of this could be in jeopardy.
Regardless of any financial deals that MLB and the PA come up with, they’ll need to heed the warnings of a virus that doesn’t care about the arrangements they make.
Be safe out there, folks.
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