Cardinals-Brewers game called off as coronavirus outbreak rocks MLB

Major League Baseball has postponed Friday afternoon’s game between the St Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers after multiple members of the visiting Cardinals tested positive for Covid-19, according to an ESPN report.

The Cardinals played in Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday before a scheduled day off Thursday. The Twins hosted Cleveland on Thursday night, meaning the Indians likely used the same visiting clubhouse as St Louis. Minnesota are scheduled to host the Indians again Friday night.

The game, which was scheduled to begin at 2.10pm Eastern time, is the latest impacted by Covid-19 and follows an outbreak of the virus with the Miami Marlins that resulted in an entire week’s worth of their games postponed as a result.

The postponement means six major league teams – or 20% of MLB’s 30 teams – will been sidelined on Friday due to positive coronavirus tests. Two other scheduled games involving the Marlins, Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies had already been postponed due to the fallout from positive tests.

MLB said Thursday it was updating its coronavirus safety measures after a 17th player on the Marlins tested positive for Covid-19, less than a week after all 30 clubs opened a shortened, delayed season in empty stadiums.

The Marlins’ outbreak, which first came to light on Monday after the team played a three-game series on the road against the Phillies, prompted MLB to postpone all of the NL East club’s games through at least Sunday amid doubts the team will be able to reopen its season as planned Tuesday at home.

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Dr Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious disease expert and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, expressed concern over the Miami situation when asked about it during an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday morning.

“This could put it in danger,” Fauci said. “I don’t believe they need to stop, but we just need to follow this and see what happens with other teams on a day-by-day basis.”

The Phillies said Thursday there were no positive results among players from Wednesday’s testing. Two members of the club’s backroom staff, however, did test positive, leading to the postponement of this weekend’s series against the Toronto Blue Jays and the cancellation of all activities at the team’s home ground.

The pandemic had already forced MLB to delay and truncate the familiar 162-game, six-month season to a 60-game, 67-day sprint with a number of rule changes designed to speed up the game and protect the players and umpires.

About a dozen major leaguers have opted out of the season entirely, citing the health risks stemming from Covid-19. Others who are playing, like Washington Nationals relief pitcher Sean Doolittle, have expressed hesitation over the enterprise as case numbers continue to surge throughout the country.

“We’re trying to bring baseball back during a pandemic that’s killed 130,000 people,” Doolittle said on 5 July. “We’re way worse off as a country than we were in March when we shut this thing down. And, like, look where the other developed countries are in their response to this. We haven’t done any of the things that other countries have done to bring sports back.

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“Sports are like the reward of a functioning society. And we’re trying to just bring it back, even though we’ve taken none of the steps to flatten the curve.”



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