After six games on the road to start 2020, the Brewers were supposed to enjoy the comforts of a home game on Friday. That will have to wait at least a day.
After battling offensive outages against the Cubs and a rain delay versus the Pirates, the Brewers were finally to be rewarded with their first home games of the season this weekend. Even without fans in the stands, being back home is a mental relief for baseball players.
Unfortunately, the team will have to wait a little bit longer to get that first home game under their belt. News broke early Friday morning that Milwaukee’s home opener would be put on hold due to a member of the Cardinals testing positive for COVID-19
At this point, per St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Derrick Goold, reports are that the Cardinals are self-isolating at their hotels in Milwaukee while they continue to test other players and personnel. So it would seem that the spread has been contained and hasn’t made its way to the Brewers and Miller Park, at least for now.
The news of a positive COVID-19 test is never a good thing and the hope is that the affected members of the Cardinals recover quickly. But with the aspect of travel and no “bubbles” similar to how the NBA is operating, there was always going to be the risk of positive tests in MLB this year.
Rules were implemented for the 2020 season to allow the continuation of play in the extremely likely event of positive COVID-19 cases. 60-man rosters and travelling taxi squads were supposed to allow the quick replacement of players who fell victim to the virus.
Of course that only works if you can control the spread immediately upon learning of the positive tests. The Marlins played a game despite the knowledge of positive tests, and now they have had so many players test positive that they haven’t played a game since last Sunday.
Even as games are getting shut down left and right over the last few days, MLB has tried to pivot in the moment and create a new plan to still get the games played. Yesterday, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the MLB and the Players’ Association agreed to allow for 7-inning doubleheaders to be played to accommodate postponed games starting on August 1st.
It remains to be seen what contact tracing will determine for the games going forward. Will other games in the series get cancelled while the Cardinals await the results of further testing? Will the Twins, who played the Cardinals on Wednesday, have to cancel their game against the Indians and have both teams go through testing as well since they played each other already last night?
The one positive thing to take from the situation is that the Cardinals followed protocols and stopped the spread from coming to Miller Park. But with this and other similar situations around the league, it doesn’t leave a great feeling about the season moving forward.