Covid and MLB

SirPsychoSquints

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Having neutral sites isn't the worst idea in the world, but unless you're going to impose a bubble type system it's no better than what they have now other than the travel aspect.
The travel aspect & reducing travel days (at least in the early going) are meaningful things though. Alternatively, they could just have all the games at the "home team's" park, which I think they're already doing in the first round?

You could also do, say, 4 semi-bubbles. Run a quarter each of the bracket at Yankee/Citi, Camden/Nats, Wrigley/Guaranteed, Dodger/Anaheim (or something). That covers the 8 series, and there wouldn't be any travel between the 1st/knockout round and the DS's.

You could do the same but only over 2 locations/4 stadiums. 1 stadium does a 1PM/7PM and the other does a 4PM, with 1 series having a day off each day in the first round. In the DS round, there's only 4 series anyways, for the 4 stadiums.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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That celebration is awesome, reminds me of the old 16-bit video games where the graphics could not depict a mob properly and the individual figures needed to be separated while jumping up and down.

Hold onto your butts, just need to get past the Friday news dump without anymore outbreaks this week.
 

Catcher Block

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If anything, this suggests that a positive test on a team should sideline everyone for a lot longer than the Cardinals were confined to their Milwaukee hotel. Hard to fault the new positive(s) if they followed the guidelines. The irony will be hard to take if one of the several taxi squad guys was the positive test.
 
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DJnVa

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Yes. Others could be incubating.
Sure, obviously I understand that. But the whole idea behind a 60 player roster wasn't, as far as I know, to cancel games based on one player testing positive was it?
 

EvilEmpire

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I don't think the idea behind the 60 player roster is working out. If you can't immediately find out if other players are infected from a known case of Covid, how do you know how much of the roster to change out with guys who aren't currently with the team?

It seems like it takes x number of days of clean testing for everyone before you can rule out virus spread. I don't know what X is. I'm not sure MLB has a good handle on what X is yet.

MLB is doing discovery learning as they go along. I hope the NFL is taking notes.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The 60-man roster was NOT intended to serve as "deep depth" to cover for team outbreaks. If it was, they wouldn't be adhering to 40-man roster rules as usual (options, waivers required to move someone off the 40-man, etc). Players on the 60-man roster but not the 40-man roster are essentially depth for the alternate training sites so they can play intrasquad games and stay sharp.

The reason to cancel games based on one positive test is that there is rarely just one positive test on a roster, especially now that the season is underway and teams are together more often. One positive test indicates the whole team needs to quarantine, at least until they're cleared by a pair of negative tests.
 

donutogre

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The Cards have already missed... 10 games?! I'm not sure how but it seems like they are having a much worse time than the Marlins somehow...
 

DJnVa

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The reason to cancel games based on one positive test is that there is rarely just one positive test on a roster, especially now that the season is underway and teams are together more often. One positive test indicates the whole team needs to quarantine, at least until they're cleared by a pair of negative tests.
I'm not arguing that they shouldn't. I'm saying that the MLB never said one positive test leads to these kinds of cancellations.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The Cards have already missed... 10 games?! I'm not sure how but it seems like they are having a much worse time than the Marlins somehow...
The Marlins did play a game after their first few players tested positive, whereas the Cards stopped playing immediately after the first one. The Marlins also had all of their positive tests clustered in the first 4-5 days after the initial case. The Cardinals latest positive comes 9 days after the initial cases were found.

I'm not arguing that they shouldn't. I'm saying that the MLB never said one positive test leads to these kinds of cancellations.
They had to say that? Seems like a no-brainer to me. And especially so after the Marlins chose to play a game after three players tested positive and then had 11 more cases discovered the next day. Treating every positive test with an abundance of caution league-wide seems especially prudent.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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They had to say that? Seems like a no-brainer to me. And especially so after the Marlins chose to play a game after three players tested positive and then had 11 more cases discovered the next day. Treating every positive test with an abundance of caution league-wide seems especially prudent.
Well if one positive fucks everything up, then MLB should not have had a season without bubble(s) full stop. (Not saying I disagree with your sentiment here.) The NBA had a strategy already set up to handle positives without canceling games even in a bubble. Without a bubble you need to assume MANY positives and plan accordingly. 60 games in 65 days ain't doing that.
 

OurF'ingCity

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One positive hasn’t totally fucked everything up, yet. But I do wonder what their plan is (if any) if there’s a breakout right at the end of the season when it’s virtually impossible to make up a week’s worth of games.
 

Ale Xander

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Cardinals have played a total of 5 games. Their division-mates Pirates and Cubs have played 13. Braves and Giants have played 14.
 

Diamond Don Aase

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A team and B team?
40-man roster limits make repeated use of split squads impractical, if not impossible. Even when split squads are utilized without 40-man roster limits during spring training, at least one team is usually littered with Carolina League All-Stars.

Just as the Marlins are unlikely to be able to play more than 55 games, the Cardinals are increasingly unlikely to be able to play more than 50 games. That would be the equivalent of playing 135 games of a 162-game schedule. But Rob Manfred would gladly sacrifice any remaining shred of legitimacy in his reckless pursuit of precious playoff dollars.
 
But Rob Manfred would gladly sacrifice any remaining shred of legitimacy in his reckless pursuit of precious playoff dollars.
What's the alternative? Nothing is going to be "legitimate" this season, and it never was going to be as soon as the league approved a schedule in which teams would never play two-thirds of the teams in their league all season. And an everyday sport is singularly ill-suited for coping with the demands of a pandemic.

By the by, I've often wondered what MLB would look like if teams played an NFL-like schedule of one game a week for 16 weeks and then single-elimination playoff games thereafter. If your best starting pitcher had the same importance as a quarterback, and fans were able to watch every game and track every player across the league, would MLB have the same place in the national consciousness that the NFL has? (In other words, how much of the NFL's popularity is down to the sport itself, and how much is down to how it happens to be packaged and shown and digested?) I'm sure we'll never know, but if there were ever any season in which such an arrangement might have been worth exploring, it would have been this one. Or even a more NBA-like or NHL-like schedule, playing every 2-3 days, would be more doable within a pandemic than playing nearly every day. But again, that will never happen, so these points and questions are all rhetorical.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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If Jeffrey Loria or Wayne Huizenga (yah, I know he's dead) still owned the Marlins, they'd probably be planting false positives until the end of September to guarantee they get playoff money.
 

Adirondack jack

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What's the alternative? Nothing is going to be "legitimate" this season, and it never was going to be as soon as the league approved a schedule in which teams would never play two-thirds of the teams in their league all season. And an everyday sport is singularly ill-suited for coping with the demands of a pandemic.

By the by, I've often wondered what MLB would look like if teams played an NFL-like schedule of one game a week for 16 weeks and then single-elimination playoff games thereafter. If your best starting pitcher had the same importance as a quarterback, and fans were able to watch every game and track every player across the league, would MLB have the same place in the national consciousness that the NFL has? (In other words, how much of the NFL's popularity is down to the sport itself, and how much is down to how it happens to be packaged and shown and digested?) I'm sure we'll never know, but if there were ever any season in which such an arrangement might have been worth exploring, it would have been this one. Or even a more NBA-like or NHL-like schedule, playing every 2-3 days, would be more doable within a pandemic than playing nearly every day. But again, that will never happen, so these points and questions are all rhetorical.

Interesting to think about nonetheless. Personally haven't been very impressed how MLB has rolled out this season under, admittedly, these challenging circumstances.

In 2000 the Red Sox record was 85-77. If they had only played once a week, like an NFL schedule, where would they have ended up? Surely, Pedro would have been more of a difference maker than say a greatest of all time quarterback compared to a league average QB. It'd change the game to something unrecognizable, but something tells me Jimy (and most of us) woulda been down with this type of arrangement.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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So what do they do if teams don't play the same number of games? Go by winning percentage?
That’s how they’ve always done it.

Teams with losing records are going to make the playoffs so who cares?
Would be interesting if the Cards play 10 more games and win 7 of them and end up 9-6, making the playoffs over a team that ends up 35-25 or similar
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Would be interesting if the Cards play 10 more games and win 7 of them and end up 9-6, making the playoffs over a team that ends up 35-25 or similar
I would hope that if a team has that much of a disparity in games played, they'd be excluded from the post-season. Not necessarily due to playing fewer games, but for the same reason that they played so few games...virus outbreaks. If they can't keep their shit together to play more than 15 games in a 60-game season, why should they be expected to do so in the playoffs?
 

snowmanny

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You would think that Manfred/MLB needs to come out soon and state the minimum number of games a team will need to play to be eligible for playoff consideration, wouldn't you?
OK well are you going to use something akin to the batting title rules? Let’s say the minimum games number is 45. And the Marlins go 22-18. And the Diamondbacks are the eight seed in the playoffs at 28-32. Well the Marlins are five games short but if you gave them five losses they’d be in the playoffs.
 
OK well are you going to use something akin to the batting title rules? Let’s say the minimum games number is 45. And the Marlins go 22-18. And the Diamondbacks are the eight seed in the playoffs at 28-32. Well the Marlins are five games short but if you gave them five losses they’d be in the playoffs.
That's a good idea - do you want to email Manfred, or shall I?
 

Fratboy

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One positive hasn’t totally fucked everything up, yet. But I do wonder what their plan is (if any) if there’s a breakout right at the end of the season when it’s virtually impossible to make up a week’s worth of games.
...and what's going to happen in the playoffs when you can't stop play for five straight days? This whole thing is shaping up to be a complete disaster.
 
...and what's going to happen in the playoffs when you can't stop play for five straight days?
The only logical answer is that yes, actually, you stop play for five days or as long as it takes. Which is another reason the postseason bubble idea (in one or more warm-weather cities) makes a lot of sense - hopefully a bubble would reduce the likelihood of outbreaks, but if it doesn't entirely, the playoffs may need to run into November to finish them up.
 

Gdiguy

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OK well are you going to use something akin to the batting title rules? Let’s say the minimum games number is 45. And the Marlins go 22-18. And the Diamondbacks are the eight seed in the playoffs at 28-32. Well the Marlins are five games short but if you gave them five losses they’d be in the playoffs.
The thing is, that method penalizes the team that played less games; the initial idea was to try to avoid that

Now, maybe MLB will change its though process now that it seems that the outbreak teams lax adherence to distancing policies were the cause of their games getting cancelled.. but it's a bit different of an attitude than the initial one I think
 
The thing is, that method penalizes the team that played less games; the initial idea was to try to avoid that

Now, maybe MLB will change its though process now that it seems that the outbreak teams lax adherence to distancing policies were the cause of their games getting cancelled.. but it's a bit different of an attitude than the initial one I think
You can have a solution which only penalizes teams which play *way* less games than everyone else. As per your second paragraph, I don't think it's unrealistic or unfair to suggest that a team which plays fewer than, say, 40 games in a 60-game season might be at fault for what in the NCAA they would call "a lack of institutional control".
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Some good news in the sense of a team doing this pandemic thing the right way...Cleveland has sent pitcher Zach Plesac home from their road trip for leaving the team hotel last night to meet some friends. Unsurprising that they are a team taking things quite seriously given Carlos Carrasco's presence in the clubhouse. Buster Olney reports they are making him drive himself back to Cleveland in a rental car (they're in Chicago).

View: https://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/1292578094470045697
 

Danny_Darwin

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I’m probably not the first to suggest it, but if they investigate and find out that the Cards’ positives directly resulted from breaking protocol, why not just make them forfeit the postponed games?