In a phone interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred says he believes despite the current COVID-19 outbreak that has hit the organization, he sees “a path back for the Cardinals”, adding it is “depending on getting enough days with no positives that we are comfortable that there is not a contagion risk”. Manfred completed the quote by adding, “100% I see a path back”.
While the Cardinals could return to the field in 2020, a path to completing a 60-game season is murky. The Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday, citing sources, that the team did not have have any new positives from Sunday’s testing. MLB is requiring “multiple” days of clean tests after the team has endured two quarantines over the past 12 days.
The newest postponement for St. Louis involved a doubleheader in Detroit on Thursday. While not a postponement, the Chicago White Sox have moved Saturday’s game against the Cardinals from the afternoon to a 6:10 evening first pitch. The thinking in that decision from both teams involves giving the Cardinals more time to get needed positive results, particularly if Friday night’s game is canned.
With 15 consecutive games postponed due to COVID-19, Manfred acknowledged the difficulty in stuffing 55 games for the Cardinals into a 44 day window, adding that if that isn’t possible, he would like to have the Cardinals play enough games for their season” to be credible and be a credible competitor this season”.
Major League Baseball has announced that if a team can not get to the 60 game completion of their season, winning percentage may be used to determine berths into the postseason. St. Louis has had 17 positive tests for the virus, 10 involving players.