NFL Looking at MLB’s Struggles

NFL Looking at MLB’s Struggles
The struggles that Major League Baseball is having with COVID-19 is no doubt being looked at closely by the NFL.
 
Unlike the NBA and NHL, which have enjoyed early success with their bubble concepts of keeping players in one area, MLB and NFL players have no bubble. They travel to different cities and that makes them obviously in more danger of contracting the virus and of course, spreading it.
 
The NBA players began heading to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee on July 7. There were no positive tests in the most recent announcement.
 
The NHL is in two different bubble cities in Canada, Toronto and Edmonton and also has enjoyed early success with keeping the players safe. 
 
During the shutdown, the MLB owners and players discussed multiple “bubble” concepts. One idea was having all the teams in Arizona and this idea became before the state started seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases. 
 
The thought of playing every game in Arizona in the summer could be oppressive. The Diamondbacks have a retracting roof, but elsewhere it would be outdoors all the time.
 
There was one concept of having three different bubbles in Arizona, Texas and Florida, but that never materialized. 
 
Would it have been better to try something like this?
 
Who knows, but MLB could not be off to a worse start, with the Miami Marlins having at this writing according to published reports, 20 member of the traveling party, test positive. The Marlins opened the season in Philadelphia from July 24-26.  
 
Highly respected USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale wrote that two officials told USA TODAY they uncovered evidence that several Miami players blatantly ignored protocols during their two-game exhibition series in Atlanta.
 
If that is true, it is the highest level of irresponsible behavior. It only takes one person to ignore protocol and spread the virus. 
 
At the end of the week, six teams, the Marlins, Phillies, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers all had games postponed. 
 
It’s not just a team that has positives, but the teams that they played that if impacts. 
 
Football, with lack of social distancing on every play, has to be ultracareful. And even if a team is careful, it doesn’t mean that the virus can’t spread. 
 
The Eagles announced some sobering news Sunday evening that head coach Doug Pederson tested positive for COVID-19. According to the Eagles, Pederson is asymptomatic and doing well. Offensive tackle Lane Johnson previously tested positive. 
 
Anytime a baseball or football coach or player tests positive it can have larger ramifications, simply because they are around big groups. 
 
Both groups face massive challenges, and one thing is for sure – it won’t work if the players and coaches don’t adhere to strict rules, which means no parties, no bars, clubs and I would also say restaurants. For football players it should be go to practice and go home. (There has been speculation that football teams may stay in hotels during the season. We’ll see if that is a development).
 
Baseball players should go to the ballpark and head home. 
 
Even doing this won’t guarantee negative tests but there has to be plenty of sacrifice in an attempt to make it work.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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