The COVID-19 outbreak within the St. Louis Cardinals ball club has lingered longer than anyone had expected. The first incident of the season with the Miami Marlins gave everyone a scare, but they were back in action within a week’s time. Not to mention, with Florida being a hotbed for COVID-19 in the United States, the turnaround was rather quick and clean. The Marlins are playing baseball again, COVID-19 free, and winning ball games in the process.
Meanwhile, the situation with the St. Louis is actually getting worse? It has resulted in some team members having to go to the emergency room, with more positive cases developing after the first wave. The team will be sidelined for its fourth consecutive series to start this week. On Monday, MLB announced Thursday’s make-up doubleheader with the Tigers has also been cancelled. This will leave the Cardinals having gone from July 30 through August 13 having played zero games. It also leaves 45 remaining days in the season in which the Cardinals need to play 55 more games in order to get to 60.
The idea of playing 55 games in 45 games is just insane. It would put an incredible toll on the arms of their pitchers, in addition to inconveniencing all of their opponents with unplanned double headers. With the idea of 60 games sounding impossible, how many games will the Cardinals be able to play this year, if any? It appears there are three options MLB has with the Cardinals, two of which are rather drastic.
Option 1 – Cancel The Cardinals
MLB could cancel the Cardinals season and just allow the year to go on without them. It would solve the St. Louis problem, but would create a bizarre gap in games for the teams scheduled to compete against them this season. Additionally, St. Louis is one of the more prominent markets in Major League Baseball. It would be pretty devastating to have a season without any team there, let alone one of the most popular.
Option 2 – Cancel The Season
This would be insane, but it is a feasible option. One team shouldn’t cause something this drastic to become reality, nor do we think it will. However, if the situation with St. Louis worsens, or if they come back and spread the virus to other teams, this could end up back on the table. For now, we don’t think baseball is considering this at all.
Option 3 – Roll Out The Taxi Squad
To be honest we are not sure why this hasn’t already happened. The whole point of having no minor league season, thus having a large traveling taxi squad in the “alternate site” was a preventive measure for injuries and potential COVID-19 incidents. Players who have cleared testing and are negative should be mixed together with those on the taxi squad who are also COVID-19 free.
Will the Cardinals be at a competitive disadvantage? Sure, but the reason this virus has spread through their team was partially due to negligence. So, let’s play ball, and put the healthy players out there in order to not jeopardize the season, and the health of the Cardinals players down the stretch with a massive congestion of ball games in a short window.
Now We Wait
All we can do now is sit back, and wait for something to happen. Hopefully MLB realizes option 3 is the most realistic and sensible option to get some games back on the Cardinals schedule immediately. They are really running out of time and options, especially if they do not play at all this week.
2020 cannot end soon enough!