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Report: Some Cardinals Players Went to Casino Before COVID-19 Outbreak

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2020

Empty seats are seen in this general view of Busch Stadium as St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty throws the first pitch in baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates Friday, July 24, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Multiple St. Louis Cardinals players reportedly went to a casino before an outbreak of COVID-19 hit the organization, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

There are four Cardinals players and three staff members who have tested positive for the coronavirus, while updated test results reportedly are "not good" with new positives expected, per Jeff Passan of ESPN. St. Louis was forced to postpone its entire series against the Milwaukee Brewers this past weekend.

Players had initially been discouraged from leaving their team hotels, but now, they are prohibited to leave after MLB tightened its rules, per Heyman. 

Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak later told reporters the report of players going to a casino was "not true, to his knowledge."

The first set of policy changes were made after the Miami Marlins saw much of the team test positive for the coronavirus. Six different teams were out of action Sunday due to postponed games.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has reportedly threatened to shut down the season and has called on players to follow protocols, per Passanalthough he has publicly insisted the year will go on.

"We are playing," Manfred said Saturday, per Karl Ravech of ESPN. "The players need to be better, but I am not a quitter in general and there is no reason to quit now. We have had to be fluid, but it is manageable."

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An MLB investigation reportedly showed the Marlins didn't follow protocols and went out after games, including the hotel bar, per Bleacher Report's Scott Miller. Cardinals players going to the casino would further indicate carelessness amid the pandemic.

"We had someone that was infected and unfortunately it was someone that was able to spread it," Mozeliak told MLB Network on Saturday (h/t Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). "Containing is now our main focus."

St. Louis is currently scheduled to resume its season Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers, but uncertainty remains while the team awaits more COVID-19 test results.

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