Joe Kelly Suspension Shows Rob Manfred Not Taking COVID19 Seriously
Take a look across professional sports right now. The NHL and NBA created bubbles for their players, and they are not producing positive COVID19 tests. It’s something MLB could’ve done but didn’t.
Take for instance the Rogers Centre. It’s literally a baseball stadium with its own hotel. Players for a certain amount of teams could’ve been there and played games there.
Major League Baseball could’ve opted to set up other bubbles as well. Instead, they opted for little to no precautions. Players are free to roam about, and they travel from city to city. It’s the exact circumstance which helped create the Marlins outbreak.
With respect to that outbreak, Major League Baseball let the Marlins decide whether they should play Sunday’s game. That’s right. An infected team awaiting more test results which would come back positive, made the decision to play.
We know the Marlins have seen over half their team infected and see their season out on hiatus for a week. At this point, we really don’t know when they’ll have a sufficient amount of negative tests to either return to play or ever field a roster.
Because of that game on Sunday, the Phillies have been shut down for five days. That was necessary to ensure the Phillies have had sufficient rounds of testing to make sure their exposure did not lead to another outbreak.
This has led to the Yankees and Orioles playing because they didn’t have an opponent to play. So, two teams are shut down and two others have their schedule changed on the fly.
You’d think after seeing what had transpired and how other leagues are handling this vastly superior, you’d think Rob Manfred, and Major League Baseball would realize they need to send a very clear message all protocols must be followed to ensure the 2020 season won’t be cancelled.
They didn’t, and worse yet, they completely and utterly failed in their first real chance to send a message about how seriously they are taking COVID19.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) July 29, 2020
While you may want to argue the length, it’s clear Kelly merited a suspension. You can’t allow pitchers to throw near the heads of players even if those players cheated their way to a World Series and suffered no consequences.
The Kelly suspension was a clear message MLB will not tolerate head hunting. It’s a good message. In fact, it’s as good a message as telling everyone COVID19 protocols need not be followed is horrifically bad.
After Kelly walked away and was mocking Carlos Correa back to the dugout, Correa was going to have none of it. COVID19 or not, he was going to give Kelly a piece of his mind.
And so, instead of following protocols designed to keep everyone safe, Correa started yelling and heading towards the Dodgers dugout. He was restrained and the benches cleared. Everyone who was distancing according to the rules no longer was.
It didn’t matter to Correa there’s a pandemic. It didn’t matter the Marlins team has an outbreak threatening the season. It doesn’t matter numbers are spiking in Houston. All that mattered was his feelings were hurt.
There were people on the field like Dusty Baker, who are high risk. At 71, COVID19 could prove fatal to Baker, but that doesn’t matter. Correa’s swing was mocked.
Inasmuch as Correa didn’t care, Major League Baseball didn’t care. There were no fines, no suspensions, no public statements. This incident went completely unaddressed.
It went unaddressed at a time where we don’t know when or if the Marlins can play again. It went unaddressed in a city with spiking numbers.
No Astros player faced any ramifications for their actions. Between this and the sign stealing, you have to wonder what, if any, of Major League Baseball’s rules actually apply to the Astros players.
You also have to wonder if Rob Manfred actually cares that there’s a pandemic. He’s purposefully having people play the game in cities with increasing numbers. He let an infected Marlins team play another team. He didn’t even bother to issue a weak statement telling players to remember the protocols set in place to keep everyone healthy.
In the end, it’s hard to find evidence Manfred actually cares if people contact COVID19 or not.