MLB Still Hasn't Worked Out Their Return Plan With Public Health Officials

Fenway Park During Coronavirus Pandemic
Fenway Park During Coronavirus Pandemic / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Major League Baseball is currently without a plan to begin their 2020 season. After Spring Training was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic, fans have been patiently waiting for baseball to start the season. As the NBA announced their planned return next month at Disney World, fans are still waiting for MLB to get their shift together.

The main reason MLB hasn't been able to announce a return to play is that the league and the Players Association are locked in a monetary dispute and they are running out of time to get things going in time to finish even a half-season before it becomes to cold to play baseball. There are signs an agreement could be reached soon, but there is still nothing official.

What all these financial issues are glossing over is the fact that Major League Baseball still doesn't appear to have their coronavirus ducks in a row. On Monday morning the New York Daily News reported that only five of the 28 city or county health departments overseeing places where games would be played have confirmed contact with MLB or the local team. Even if they do figure out the money, it is still unclear who will be administering tests and whether or not they'll even be testing enough.

"Upon learning that the league’s frequent COVID-19 testing wasn’t intended to be daily — which the document itself doesn’t say, but was sourced independently by the News — Kowalik said: “Anytime you’re leaving the compound and being around other people you may be exposed to the virus. So, I think, again, three times a week, I don’t know where the logic or guidelines are coming from for that.”"


Nationwide, there were more than 24,000 new cases of coronavirus on June 5th. A month earlier on May 5th, there were 22,252 new cases. On April 5th there were 25,717 new cases. While New York City flattened their curve, cases have grown or stayed the same. Florida just had five consecutive days with over 1,000 new positive cases, including the biggest single day of positives.

This should also worry basketball fans who are excited about the NBA returning in a recently re-opened Disney World. While they were able to agree on a new format to finish a regular season and plan their playoffs and draft, we still know very little about their plan to test players and somehow keep going if someone tests positive in a state that does not have the virus under control.

For any team sport to return, the leagues will have to have real plans that don't just appease crabby sports bloggers, but hopefully public health officials. Everyone wants sports to come back, but if they can't do it safely, they probably shouldn't at all.