COVID-19 outbreaks have caused MLB to change schedules
Updated: Aug 14, 2020
The 2020 Major League Baseball season is in the mist of it's third weekend; however, there have lots of questions marks thus far. The main question is why the MLB decided not to institute the bubble method like the NBA & NHL did to restart their seasons. Baseball could have been played at every teams spring training facilities (15 teams in Florida and the remaining 15 in Arizona), while still maintaining the integrity of a full 162 game season.
For most teams, the season has gone on without a hitch. Thankfully the Red Sox are one of those teams in which nothing has happened to the team, causing their games to be postponed. Things cannot be said for several teams across the league.
It all started on Monday July 27, where it was announced that the Miami Marlins season was going to suspended one week due to an outbreak of positive COVID-19 tests. 23 Marlins players and staffers tested positive in a three day span. That resulted in the Marlins having to postpone 10 games on their schedule as a result. The Marlins have since returned to the field and have made up four of the 10 games. They played a four-game ; three-day series against the Orioles, serving as the home team in two of those games. The remaining six will made up of double headers the next time both the Nationals and Phillies are scheduled to play the Marlins.
The Phillies schedule has also had to be fixed due to the team quarantining themselves at home after the Marlins left town. That caused the Phillies to postpone 10 of their own games as well. Four games against the Yankees, three against the Blue Jays and three-game road series against the Marlins. The four games versus the Yankees have already been made up. The three games against the Blue Jays will be made up later in September. As with the Marlins.
The Washington Nationals voted against playing their road weekend series against the Marlins with the outbreak. Thankfully those are the only three games that Nationals have not played so far this season. For the Blue Jays, the weekend series against the Phillies are also the only three games the team has yet to play.
The same cannot be said however for the St. Louis Cardinals who have been going through a COVID-19 outbreak themselves. This has caused the postponement of each of their last 10 games. Three against the Brewers, four against the Tigers and this weekend's series versus the Cubs. As it stands right now, the Cardinals are slated to play 55 games in roughly 50 days as all their remaining scheduled off-days are likely to be eliminated because of all the make-up games they must play.
The last time the MLB has been able to see all 30 teams in action was Sunday July 26th. There have been other postponements this years, but those been due to rain.
The Cubs, Brewers, Tigers, Cardinals and White Sox schedules all have to fixed to ensure that all games are played in a timely manner and that all five teams have played their 60th and final regular season games by September 27, which is the scheduled last day of the regular season.
Now that the Marlins, outbreak, seems to be behind them, the following schedules must now all be altered. The Red Sox, Blue Jays, Phillies, Yankees, Orioles and Marlins schedules have been changed to accommodate the double-headers the Marlins need to play against both Philadelphia and Washington, Along with a series that the Yankees and Orioles need to make up as well.
How is the Red Sox schedule impacted by this? Not by a lot, thankfully, just a couple of minor tweaks to their schedule. The Red Sox will still host the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park from August 18-19. The start time for the game on the 19th, has been changed to a 1:35 pm start time, The original start time was supposed to be at 7:05 pm.
When the Red Sox visit the Phillies for a two-game series in September, both games will be played on Tuesday September 8th as a day-night double-header. As a result, the Red Sox essentially got rewarded an extra off day.
The Red Sox were originally scheduled to play the Marlins from September 14-16, but now that series has been pushed back just one day. The Red Sox will now play the Marlins in Miami from September 15-17. That Thursday off-day has been moved to that Monday when their series against the Marlins was originally scheduled to begin.
It has been a very wacky last couple weeks for the MLB and the schedule makers. It was last Friday however, the MLB commissioner Rob Manfred threatened to shut down the 2020 season if the players didn't start doing a better job at following all the protocols that the league set in place.
Manfred as recently said that he expects the season to continue on as scheduled and still plans on having a full postseason to crown a champion for the 2020 season. The outbreaks among the Marlins seems to have been contained, while the Cardinals hope for the same soon. The Cardinals have not played a game since July 29th.
UPDATE: The Cardinals are expected to take the field this weekend against the Chicago White Sox beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday the 15th!