With the Pittsburgh Pirates delaying a team flight into St. Louis and a three-game series at Busch Stadium finally postpone by MLB Sunday night, the St. Louis Cardinals‘ 2020 COVID-19 nightmares continue.
The Cardinals were set to host the Cubs this weekend, but that series was canceled after two most positive COVID-19 tests for players and an additional one for a Cards staffer. (UPDATE: Another Cardinals player, Lane Thomas, has tested positive for COVID-19; in addition, John Mozeliak reports a player and staffer required an emergency-room visit after showing symptoms.) The next Busch Stadium series with the Pittsburgh Pirates is already in doubt, with the team canceling a charter flight to St. Louis:
Pittsburgh Pirates flight to St. Louis on Sunday afternoon has been canceled. We’ll await word on the team’s 3-game series scheduled vs. Cardinals Monday through Wednesday. UAL2512 / UA2512 #LetsGoBucs #STLCards #MLB pic.twitter.com/rXS7Ifh3Ad
— Sports + Aviation (@SportsAviation) August 9, 2020
The postponement of the Pirates series leaves the Cardinals in a terrible hole: the team has only played five games this season at a time when most teams have already played 10 or more games, with many already playing 14. And with 13 postponements, the Cards will need to play 55 games in 45 days to pull even with the rest of Major League Baseball.
But there are plenty of larger issues here as well. It would be extremely difficult to build a new roster from the alternative training site in Springfield: many of those players are not on the 40-man roster. (Plus, consider the idea of throwing two dozen healthy players into the current Cards situation with so many infections.) The next discussion will be whether the entire Cardinals season should be canceled and the remaining schedule adjusted. And that is a discussion MLB really doesn’t want to have.
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