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Baseball commissioner warns he might end season if coronavirus isn’t managed better

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 24: A general view of Busch Stadium prior to the Opening Day game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 24, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred warned union leader Tony Clark in a Friday call that if the league and players don’t do a better job of following COVID-19 protocols and managing the virus, Manfred could shut down the shortened season, ESPN reported.

On Friday, the league and the MLB Players Association announced that 29 players and team staff have tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

CNN has reached out to the league for comment but has not heard back. A union spokesperson told CNN the union had no comment.

Game in Milwaukee postponed

Two St. Louis Cardinals players have tested positive for COVID-19, the team said Friday, forcing MLB to postpone Friday’s game between the Cardinals and the host Milwaukee Brewers.

This is the latest of several coronavirus-related postponements that have hit MLB’s schedule since it started an abbreviated, 60-game season on July 23.

The Cardinals said the tests were conducted Wednesday before the team’s 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis that night. St. Louis learned of the positive results Thursday night, the team said.

The Cardinals, who were off Thursday, are self-isolating in their hotel rooms in Milwaukee “until further notice,” the team said Friday. It did not publicly identify the players who tested positive.

“The team is currently conducting rapid testing of the entire traveling party, has implemented contact tracing, and will continue to self-isolate,” the Cardinals said in a news release.

The Twins, after playing St. Louis on Wednesday, hosted the Cleveland Indians on Thursday and are scheduled to play the second of a four-game series with them on Friday. No change to that schedule was immediately announced.

For now, Friday’s Cardinals-Brewers game at Milwaukee’s Miller Park — which was to be the Brewers’ home opener for the season — has been rescheduled as part of a doubleheader for Sunday.

That is “consistent with protocols to allow enough time for additional testing and contact tracing to be conducted,” MLB said Friday.

A Saturday game between the two clubs still was on the schedule early Friday afternoon.

“We are supportive of Major League Baseball’s decision to postpone today’s game and look forward to playing our home opener as soon as conditions safely allow,” said David Stearns, Brewers general manager and president of baseball operations.

“The health and safety of our players and employees are, and will continue to be, our top priorities,” Stearns said.

MLB Network was first to report Friday’s postponement.

Marlins and Phillies also have had positive tests

Coronavirus-related postponements started after members of the Miami Marlins came down with COVID -19 earlier this month.

After Miami opened the season against the Philadelphia Phillies last week, several Marlins players tested positive. Despite the results, the two teams agreed to play the third game of the series July 26.

Then more Marlins members tested positive, and the Marlins’ season was put on hold through at least Sunday.

A source within the Marlins told CNN that the team has 21 members who have tested positive for COVID -19 over the last week, 18 players and three coaches.

The Phillies also have seen many of their games postponed. First, because they’d played the Marlins, Philadelphia’s games with the New York Yankees this week were postponed out of caution.

Then, Philadelphia’s games against the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend were postponed after two Phillies staff members tested positive.

The abbreviated MLB season is being played without fans and features new rules, including the banning of high-fives and spitting, to avoid spreading the virus.

Infected Marlins are headed to Florida for more screening, source says

The 20 Marlins players and staff who have tested positive were traveling Friday on several sleeper buses to South Florida, where they will receive additional screening and testing, the source within the team told CNN.

Major League Baseball health officials approved the move, the source said.

The Marlins have been isolating and quarantining in a team hotel in Philadelphia since their last game there on July 26. Members of the team who have not tested positive remained in Philadelphia Friday, the source said.

Coronavirus links

Indiana coronavirus timeline

With updated information from the Indiana Department of Health on July 28, this timeline reflects updated tallies of deaths and positive tests prior to that date.

  • March 6: Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirms the first case in Indiana. Officials say the Marion County resident had recently traveled to Boston to attend a BioGen conference as a contractor.
  • March 8: ISDH confirms a second case. An adult in Hendricks County who had also traveled to the BioGen conference was placed in isolation. Noblesville Schools say a parent and that parent’s children will be self-quarantining after attending an out-of-state event where someone else tested positive.
  • March 9: Avon Community School Corp. says a student on March 8 tested positive.
  • March 10: ISDH launches an online tracker. Ball State University basketball fans learn the Mid-American Conference tourney will have no fans in the stands. Three businesses operating nursing homes in Indiana announce they will no longer allow visitors.
  • March 11: The Indianapolis-based NCAA announces the Final Four basketball tournaments will be conducted with essential staff and limited family attendance. The Big Ten announces all sports events, including the men’s basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, will have no fans starting March 12. Ball State University suspends in-person classes the rest of the spring semester. NBA suspends all games, including the Indiana Pacers, until further notice. Butler University and the University of Indianapolis extend spring break, after which they will have virtual classes.
  • March 12: Gov. Eric Holcomb announces new protections that led to extended public school closings and the cancellation of large events across the state. The NCAA cancels its basketball tournaments. The Big Ten suspends all sporting events through the winter and spring seasons. The league including the Indy Fuel hockey team suspends its season. Indy Eleven says it will reschedule four matches. Indianapolis’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is canceled. 
  • March 13: The Indiana High School Athletic Association postpones the boys basketball tournament. Wayzata Home Products, a Connersville cabinet maker, shuts down and lays off its entire workforce due to market uncertainty. Gov. Holcomb announces actions including the elimination of Medicaid co-pays for COVID-19 testing and the lifting of limits on the number of work hours per day for drivers of commercial vehicles. Franklin College says it will begin online classes March 18 and empty residence halls of students in two days. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis closes indefinitely. The Indianapolis Public Library joins other libraries across Indiana and closes all facilities indefinitely.
  • March 14: The Indiana Gaming Commission says all licensed gaming and racing operations will close in two days for an indefinite period.
  • March 15: Indiana had its first death. St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis announces it will suspend all elective, non-urgent surgeries.
  • March 16: Indiana had its second death. Gov. Holcomb announced the first Hoosier death. He closes bars, restaurants and nightclubs to in-person patrons, but maintains carryout and delivery services.
  • March 17: Indiana had its third and fourth deaths. ISDH announces Indiana’s second death. Indiana’s Catholic bishops cancel masses indefinitely. Gov. Holcomb activates the National Guard. Purdue, Butler and Indiana State universities cancel May commencement ceremonies.
  • March 18: Indiana had its fifth death. Eli Lilly and Co. says it will use its labs to speed up testing in Indiana. The 500 Festival announces suspends all events. Simon Property Group closes all malls and retail properties.
  • March 19: Gov. Holcomb extends Indiana’s state of emergency into May. Holcomb says he’ll close all K-12 public and nonpublic schools. Standardized testing was canceled. The state’s income-tax and corporate-tax payment deadline was extended to July 15. Holcomb says the state will waive job search requirements for people applying for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The IHSAA Boys Basketball State Tournament was canceled. The Marion County Emergency Operations Center upgrades to Level 1 status.
  • March 20: Indiana’s death toll rose to 9. ISDH announces Indiana’s third death. Gov. Holcomb moves the state’s primary election to June 2. Indiana University says it is postponing May commencement ceremonies on all campuses.
  • March 21: Indiana’s death toll rises to 14. ISDH announces Indiana’s fourth death. Indiana National Guard says it and the Department of Transportation are distributing medical supplies to hospitals.
  • March 22: Indiana’s death toll rises to 19. ISDH announces seven deaths.
  • March 23: Indiana’s death toll rises to 24. Holcomb orders Hoosiers deemed nonessential to “stay at home” from March 24-April 7. Eli Lilly & Co. begins drive-thru testing for the coronavirus for health care workers with a doctor’s order. Ball State University cancels the May commencement.
  • March 24: Indiana’s death toll rises to 29. Fred Payne of Indiana Workforce Development says any Hoosiers out of work, including temporary layoffs, are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.
  • March 25: Indiana’s death toll rises to 35. Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces the Indianapolis 500 is moved to Aug. 23. IndyGo suspends fares and changes its ride schedules.
  • March 26: Indiana’s death toll rises to 44.
  • March 27: Indiana’s death toll rises to 47.
  • March 28: Indiana’s death toll rises to 58.
  • March 29: Indiana’s death toll rises to 76. President Donald Trump announces in a press conference that the national social distancing recommendation will be extended by 30 days.
  • March 30: Indiana’s death toll rises to 91. Indiana health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box predicts the arrival of the surge in cases and deaths could come in mid-April to late April, but could be as late as mid-May, “but we don’t know.”
  • March 31: Indiana’s death toll rises above 100, to 113. Gov. Holcomb extends the limits of bars and restaurants to offer only “to go” and “carryout” through April 6. Health commissioner Box, asked about when Indiana will be in a surge of COVID-19 cases, says she thinks the surge is starting.
  • April 1: Officials extend Marion County’s “stay at home” order through May 1. Marion County health officials say they will start COVID-19 testing services for front-line employees.
  • April 2: The state announces K-12 schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. The Indiana High School Athletic Association cancels spring sports seasons.
  • April 3: Gov. Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. The state receives a federal Major Disaster Declaration for all 92 counties. The Indiana National Guard says it, the Army Corps of Engineers and state health officials will begin to assess sites for alternate health care facilities.
  • April 4: Indiana’s death toll rises above 200.
  • April 6: The state reports a Madison County nursing home has had 11 deaths. Gov. Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. He also limits additional businesses to carry-out only.
  • April 7: Indiana’s death toll rises above 300. Indiana health commissioner Box says four long-term care facilities have 22 deaths that appear to be related to COVID-19.
  • April 10: ISDH said 24 residents of a long-term care facility in Madison County have died from COVID-related illness.
  • April 11: Indiana’s death toll rises above 400.
  • April 14: Indiana’s death toll rises above 500.
  • April 16: Tests ID more than 10,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus. The governor says he expects Indiana to experience a reopening in early May.
  • April 17: Indiana’s death toll rises above 600. The governor says that he will extend the “stay at home” order through May 1.
  • April 20: Indiana’s death toll rises above 700. Gov. Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order to May 1. The governor also says, if the medical supply chain is in good shape, other elective medical procedures can resume April 27.
  • April 22: Indiana’s death toll rises above 800. The Tyson facility in Logansport voluntarily closes so 2,200 employees can be tested for COVID-19.
  • April 24: Indiana’s death toll rises above 900. The Indianapolis City-County Council approves $25 million to help small businesses. Fishers City Council creates a city health department with a plan to test every resident.
  • April 25: ISDH says it will launch an antibody testing study for Hoosiers; thousands of residents were randomly selected to participate in the study.
  • April 27: Indiana’s death toll rises above 1,000.
  • April 28: Indiana officials say they will open COVID-19 testing to more Hoosiers, with expanded criteria and new testing services at 20 sites around the state.
  • April 29: The state says it will spent $43 million on contact tracing.
  • April 30: Indianapolis extends its stay-at-home order through May 15.
  • May 1: Gov. Holcomb announces a phased reopening plan for the state of Indiana. He also extends the stay-at-home order to May 4.
  • May 3: Tests ID more than 20,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus.
  • May 4: Indiana enters Stage 2 of its Back on Track plan, which excludes Cass County until May 18, and Lake and Marion counties until May 11.
  • May 6:The state begins testing for all Hoosiers at 20 sites, with plans to expand the number of sites to 50 in a week. Ivy Tech Community College says it will continue virtual classes when summer courses begin in June. 
  • May 8: Cris Johnston, director of the Office of Budget and Management, says the state missed out on nearly $1 billion in anticipated April revenues; all state agencies will be given budget-cutting goals. Purdue University OKs plans to reopen for the fall semester with social distancing and other safety measures.
  • May 10: Indiana’s death toll rises above 1,500.
  • May 13: Indiana’s death toll rises above 1,600.The first phase of a state-sponsored study of the coronavirus estimated about 186,000 Hoosiers had COVID-19 or the antibodies for the novel virus by May 1. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced plans for limited reopenings of worship services, retail establishments, libraries and restaurants.
  • May 16: Indiana’s death toll rises above 1,700.
  • May 17: Marion County’s death toll rises above 500.
  • May 18: Indiana reports its first case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in a child. The Farbest Foods turkey-processing plant in Huntingburg is closed for three days; 91 people have tested positive there.
  • May 19: Indiana’s death toll rises above 1,800.
  • May 21: Tests ID more than 30,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus.
  • May 22: Indiana advances to Stage 3 of the Back on Track reopening plan. Indianapolis closes portions of five streets to allow restaurants to reopen with outdoor dining only.
  • May 23: Indiana’s death toll rises above 1,900.
  • May 27: The U.S. death toll rises above 100,000. Indiana University says the fall semester will have in-person and online courses, plus an adjusted calendar through May 2021. Ball State University says the fall semester will be 13 straight weeks of in-person classes with no day off on Labor Day and no fall break.
  • May 28: Indiana’s death toll rises above 2,000.
  • May 29: Places of worship in Marion County can begin holding indoor services at 50% capacity with proper social distancing. Jim Schellinger, Indiana secretary of commerce, said the federal Paycheck Protection Program has made 73,430 loans in Indiana totaling $9,379,164,461, the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan program has made 5,070 loans in Indiana totaling $445,428,500, and the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans Advance program has made 38,365 grants in Indiana totaling $136,554,000.
  • June 1: Marion County restaurants begins serving customers indoors and outdoors with 50% capacity. Marion County salons, tattoo parlors reopen by appointment only. Marion County gyms, fitness centers and pools reopen with 50% capacity and no contact sports. However, a Marion County curfew that began the night of May 31 and continued into the morning of June 3 after rioting impacted the reopening of some businesses.
  • June 3: Indiana’s death toll rises above 2,100. Phase 2 of statewide testing of random Hoosiers by the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI and the Indiana State Department of Health begins.
  • June 5: Indiana reports May tax revenues were 20% short of projections made before the coronavirus closings started.
  • June 8: Indiana’s death toll rises above 2,200. Indianapolis leaders agree to spend $79 million in coronavirus relief funding on contact tracing, rent relief, personal protective equipment and support for small businesses.
  • June 12: Indiana, excluding Marion County, advances to Stage 4 of reopening plan.
  • June 14: Indiana’s death toll rises above 2,300.
  • June 15: Casinos and parimutuel racing reopen in the state.
  • June 19: Marion County advances to Stage 4 of state’s reopening plan.
  • June 21: Indiana’s death toll rises above 2,400.
  • June 24: The governor says the state’s moratorium on the eviction on renters will be extended through July. Indiana announces it will create a rental assistance program July 13. Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon says he has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • June 27: Indiana hospitalizations for COVID-19 begin to increase, with about 33 new patients a day through July 1.
  • July 1: Indiana’s death toll rises above 2,500. The governor pauses Stage 5 final reopening plan, announces Stage 4.5 from July 4-17.
  • July 4: Indiana’s Stage 4.5 reopening plan begins.
  • July 9: Tests ID more than 50,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus. Marion County mandates mask wearing.
  • July 10: Tests ID more than 51,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus. Indianapolis Public Schools announces its reopening plans.
  • July 11: Indy Eleven resumes 2020 season with victory at Lucas Oil Stadium.
  • July 12: Indiana’s death toll rises above 2,600. Tests ID more than 52,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus.
  • July 13: Washington Township Schools says it will reopening with online classes only. Indiana begins rental assistance program for all counties but Marion County. Marion County will begins its own rental assistance program.
  • July 14: Tests ID more than 53,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus. Wayne Township Schools pushes back date to restart classes by two weeks, to Aug. 12, to put technology and personal protective equipment in place. Carmel Clay Schools in-class instruction will happen for K-8 and a “hybrid” approach will be done for high grade levels.
  • July 15: Tests ID more than 54,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus. Indiana announces the Stage 4.5 reopening plan will continue another two weeks. The WNBA season will begin.
  • July 16: Indianapolis suspends applications for its rental assistance program due to overwhelming demand.
  • July 17: Tests ID more than 55,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus.
  • July 18: Tests ID more than 56,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus.
  • July 19: Tests ID more than 57,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus.
  • July 21: Tests ID more than 58,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus.
  • July 22: Tests ID more than 59,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus.
  • July 23: Indiana’s death toll rises above 2,700. Tests ID more than 60,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus. Center Grove Schools push back start date to Aug. 12. Westfield Washington Schools says it will reopen Aug. 13 under a “hybrid” plan. Pike Township Schools decides to start with online-only classes beginning Aug. 11.
  • July 24: Tests ID more than 61,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus. Bars, taverns and nightclubs in Indianapolis are shut down again. City officials also return to other previous restrictions. The nation hits 4 million positive tests for COVID-19.
  • July 25: Tests ID more than 62,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus. Indiana Fever begins WNBA season after delays.
  • July 27: Tests ID more than 63,000 Hoosiers with coronavirus. Indiana governor’s order to wear face coverings begins. Great Lakes Valley Conference, which including University of Indianapolis, postpones most fall sports, including football, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball, until spring.
  • July 30: NBA season will resume.

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