Rob Manfred: MLB 'Encouraged' by Lack of Cross-Contamination with COVID-19

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2020

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2020, file photo, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred answers questions at a press conference during baseball owners meetings in Orlando, Fla. Manfred tells The Associated Press that the commissioner's office, teams and the players' association
John Raoux/Associated Press

Two MLB teams have already dealt with significant outbreaks of COVID-19, but the league believes postponing games has helped prevent further spread around the league.

Commissioner Rob Manfred explained how the league has reacted to outbreaks surrounding the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, via Jesse Rogers of ESPN:

"We learned from both the Marlins and the Cardinals, when you're aggressive about taking games down, and getting through that period of time until you don't have any more positive tests, there's benefits long term to keeping the season moving. We are encouraged by the fact that we've never had cross contamination from one team to another. We're hoping that the trend continues."

Both the Marlins and the Cardinals missed over a week of action because of positive coronavirus test results. With the Philadelphia Phillies also quarantining after hosting the Marlins, six teams were forced to postponed games last weekend.

Manfred believes the protocols have been effective in slowing the spread of the disease, but certain individuals from the Marlins and Cardinals were irresponsible.

"We believe, in the two serious outbreaks, that we can identify deviations from the protocols that resulted in the situations that we had," said the 61-year-old, who has been commissioner since 2015. "The key is vigilance. It's vigilance on the part of the commissioner's office, club officials, players and everyone involved in the game."

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported "at least a couple" of Cardinals players went to a casino before the team's outbreak.

According to Bleacher Report's Scott Miller, Marlins players had gone out during its trip to Atlanta.

MLB has since announced stricter protocols, including increased mask-wearing and a compliance officer who will accompany teams on trips, per Miller.