Report: MLB commissioner warns of shutdown if COVID-19 isn’t managed better

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. (LM Otero/AP)

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred told MLBPA executive director Tony Clark on Friday that if the sport doesn’t do a better job of managing COVID-19 that the league could be forced to shut down, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The conversation between Manfred and Clark was a “reality check that was relayed to players” rather than a “threat,” as per Passan, and this weekend is seen as a critical period for the determination of the continuation of the season.

According to Passan, state and local governments have expressed concerns with the league as broadcasts have shown players not wearing masks, high-fiving and spitting which has “left government officials wondering how seriously players are taking the protocols.”

The report of the conversation between Manfred and Clark comes after MLB was forced to postpone another game on Friday, this time between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals, after two players on the Cardinals tested positive for the coronavirus.

Friday’s postponement of Brewers vs. Cardinals means those two teams plus the Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies will all miss games this upcoming weekend due to the spread of the virus.

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