Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players' Association on Friday that if the sport doesn't do a better job of managing the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the league could prematurely end the season, reports ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Currently, 18 Miami Marlins have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and two members of the St. Louis Cardinals tested positive on Friday, throwing the schedule into chaos.
Sources tell Passan that Manfred could call for the end of the season as soon as Monday should positive tests increase or players fail to adhere to the established protocols.
Passan notes that local and state governments have been pressuring the league over what they believe to be players' failing to adhere to the mandates laid out in the MLB's 113-page operations manual, citing instances of players spitting, not wearing masks and high-fiving - things specifically banned in the handbook.
When it comes to what's happening off the field, things seem equally dire.
"There are some bad decisions being made," a source told Passan of players' off-field activities.
Six of the league's 30 teams - including the Toronto Blue Jays - are out of action on Friday on account of schedule interruptions related to the outbreak.