The baseball season is teetering on the brink.
With Miami Marlins baseball being a super spreader event, the Philadelphia Phillies were going to be the ultimate litmus test of the game’s ability to contain the spread without resorting to a bubble, as the NBA, MLS, WNBA, NWLS and NHL are doing/have done.
Not that those “bubbles” are really bubbles at all, as Disney employees are coming and going every day, and well, damnit, sometimes you just need to get your favorite wings from your favorite strip club.
Digression: I am reminded of the episode “Fly” of S3E10 “Breaking Bad,” when Walt and Jesse spend hours trying to kill a fly in their superlab. As Jesse Pinkman says, “We make poison for people who don’t care. We probably have the most unpicky customers in the world.” Although many viewers hated this episode because no major plot points are advanced, it’s actually one of the greatest episodes in the GOAT TV show. Walt admits that he has lived too long, and he is coming to grips with the fact that he could have died a hero to his family and friends. His life, including control over his drug business, is spiraling out of control, and as he’s on the verge of confessing to Jesse that he let his girlfriend Jane die, telling him about running into her father at a bar. Walt creates disaster and misery for everyone around him, and the effects are far-reaching.
Like this baseball season, “Fly” only happened due to the fact that Vince Gilligan’s show was hopelessly over budget as the season neared its end, proving that necessity is the mother of genius, invention, and truncated sports seasons. Anyway, you want to keep a bubble containment free? Get the One Who Knocks to keep that shit sterile.
Where was I? Right — the Phillies. If you have been living under a rock and missed the apocalyptic hellscape that is Earth 2020 and remain somehow a glass half-full type, you could say that, well, at least none of the Phillies players have tested positive, yet. After testing, only a coach and clubhouse attendant tested positive for COVID-19.
All activities at Citizen Bank Ballpark have been suspended due to the two positive tests, including a weekend series with the Blue Jays. The Phillies, who haven’t played a game since Sunday, aren’t scheduled to play again till Monday vs. the Yankees in the Bronx.
Update: Jon Heyman tweeted that Friday’s Brewers-Cardinals game has been postponed.
That leaves the Marlins, Phillies, Blue Jays, Brewers, Cardinals and Nationals as out of action tonight.
Previously, according to MLB, none of the 6,400 players and staff members tested last week tested positive outside of the Marlins’ 17 players. It’s impossible to say definitively that the Phillies’ coach and staff member got it from the Marlins, because well, there are so many cases in this hellhole of a nation. Will contact tracing ever really exist in this third-world country of ours?
Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB will try to keep juggling the schedule to make this work, but a joke of a 60-game season in 67-some days was going to be hard enough to pull off during a global pandemic. The Marlins will be a week behind the rest of the league, minimum, if and when they return to action. The Phillies will likely be in the same boat.
Ironically, as we honor the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Negro Leagues, Major League Baseball has become a billion-dollar industry with a haphazard, barnstorming-like schedule that changes day to day, resembling a season from that long-ago era. Will the Yankees play the Phillies today at Yankee Stadium? Or the Orioles in Camden Yards? Who knows? Will Trump throw out the first pitch or nah? He has the best first pitches in the world, way better than Fauci. Great at baseball, that Trump.
Like Walter White in “Fly,” this baseball season looks like it’s set on a course for doom, and maybe it would have been better if it had died before any of this messiness happened.