Coronavirus Shows Rob Manfred Has Officially Gone From Bad To Outright Dangerous Commissioner
The delusions sports leagues had about the safety of playing games was gone when Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. In response, the NBA has shut down. College basketball leagues, at least the ones still playing, are opting to play with no fans in the arena. The NHL is expected to make an announcement later today, but we are already seeing teams cancel morning skates.
Major League Baseball?
Well, they’re doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. Better yet, we see articles like the one from Jeff Passan of ESPN wherein we see “the timeline for baseball to address Opening Day isn’t quite as urgent as it is for the NBA and the NHL, which are in the midst of their seasons, three high-ranking team officials said Wednesday that they hoped MLB could settle on a plan within days so teams can inform players and staff about how to proceed.”
While Major League Baseball is sitting around just hoping this problem will go away in a couple of weeks, they are hosting Spring Training games.
With players like Bryce Harper saying they’re going to continue interacting with fans, you risk not just another Rudy Gobert situation, but MLB could be faced with a rapidly spreading disease among teams and its fans. Remember, this is a much bigger issue for baseball as the fans are much closer to the action than in any other sport. That’s an even bigger issue during Spring Training.
Instead of playing Spring Training games with no fans, or just cancelling it all together, Rob Manfred is doing nothing, and Tony Clark, the head of the Player’s Union has presented no obstacle to Manfred’s doing nothing. This isn’t just an absence of leadership, it is a dereliction of duty.
Keep in mind, cities which host baseball teams are shutting down, and they are banning crowds. Teams like the Seattle Mariners don’t know if they are supposed to play in an empty ballpark, or if they are supposed to play somewhere else. On the latter, that is already against the advice of health experts who say this will only further spread the disease.
Meanwhile, the NBA is shut down. College basketball will not have fans at games. The NHL is on the verge of shutting down. Mark Cuban has announced, unprompted, he is taking measures to take care of personnel who will be directly impacted by games not being played.
Baseball? Well, they’re playing games in front of fans, and they’re taking their time to make a decision even with Major League cities directly impacted.
We knew Rob Manfred was a bad commissioner, but we didn’t know he was so dangerous to show a callous disregard for the health of players and fans alike. This man can no longer be in charge of baseball.