Rob Manfred had a chance to stop the pandemic from spreading throughout the game. Due to his inaction, it is time for his resignation.
I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I’ll bet every MLB story you see in the next few days has this sentence, or one very much like it, third or fourth in the first paragraph: And then it all started to fall apart.
In Philadelphia, the news was generally first received from social media sites rather than MLB on July 27 – first, the Miami Marlins, the Phillies’ most recent opponent, had “some” infected players. Then, the story was that there were eight players and two coaches infected.
And presto! The Marlins home opener scheduled for Monday night was canceled.
Finally, meaning about mid-morning, the news began to leak out that there would be an emergency meeting of MLB executives.
Back in Philly, NBC Sports Philly reporter Jim Salisbury tweeted at 10:34 a.m.: “Can confirm — no Phillies game tonight.”
It all brought me back to my wife’s remark Sunday when she glanced up at the Phillies-Marlins game from reading the news on her phone and found the Marlins’ COVID-19 “consciousness” a bit lacking. They did seem to be too close in the dugout, in fact, but hey, they were pounding the daylights out of Philly’s pitchers. Cause for celebration.
At 11 a.m., MLB Network caught up with the news – both the Fish-O’s and the Phils-Yanks evening games were postponed, in Miami and Philly. Somewhere along the line, somebody reported the Marlins were still in Philly awaiting testing results, presumably universal for the traveling party.
And we waited, and then waited a little longer.
It seemed as though there had to be one of three outcomes: 1) The four teams canceling games would re-schedule them, presumably after the Marlins and Orioles maybe missed another game and Miami brought in some replacements from their 60-man squad. Or 2) MLB would shut everything down for, say, a week, and re-structure instructions to players about field behavior. Or 3) either MLB or the MLBPA would shut the season down.
Where else could they all go? It seemed possible that some more individual players could opt out for the season, and what would happen then? Is that the fourth option, or isn’t it, by dint of the fact that each team has 60 players at this point?
Who knew at 11:30 a.m. whether MLB had even passed the box of donuts around at their meeting yet?
The clock seemed to stop.
It didn’t seem to matter. However long MLB will have met for July 27, one more thing must happen beyond what they announce: Commissioner Rod Manfred must resign in the interest of the game, admitting that, at minimum, he missed mandating a mask rule for all players on the field at all times during the game.
He can walk out the door recommending that the new rule be called the Didi Gregorius Rule – after the Phillies shortstop who wears a mask at all times during the game because of a chronic kidney condition.
For the record, Gregorius has hit two home runs in three games in that mask, as well as making two acrobatic plays in the field.