The St. Louis Cardinals finally got back on the field Saturday, facing the Chicago White Sox in a doubleheader for their first game action since July 29 (yes, last month) after multiple cases of COVID-19 among players and staff.
Having played only five games before their coronavirus outbreak, the Cardinals have a grind of a schedule the rest of the way, with 11 doubleheaders as part of their path to getting 53 games played in 44 days. That’s not to mention the two games the Cardinals could have to make up against the Detroit Tigers to get to a “full” 60-game season, if there are playoff implications at the end of the season.
That is, assuming there are no further changes to the schedule due to weather or more coronavi—
Hold up: Please reset the “Minutes since last positive COVID-19 test in MLB” counter back to zero … the Cincinnati Reds, set to host the Cardinals this coming Thursday through Sunday, are the latest team to need to postpone games due to the impacts of the pandemic, giving Saturday’s scheduled starter Trevor Bauer a chance to target a journalist for online harassment. After a player tested positive, the Reds’ weekend games with the Pittsburgh Pirates were postponed, and given the way we’ve already seen things play out with the Cardinals and Miami Marlins, it’s not crazy to think that the Reds-Cardinals series at the end of the week could be the next domino to fall.
If that does happen, maybe the postponed Cardinals-Tigers doubleheader is back on, and in a truly 2020 scenario, it could be St. Louis against Detroit in Chicago.
The Cardinals are in the middle of an extended stay in the Windy City, as after three games against the White Sox, they go to the North Side to face the Cubs for five games in three days. Meanwhile, the Tigers arrive in Chicago on Monday for a four-game set with the Pale Hose that runs through Thursday.
If the Cardinals-Reds series is called off because of Cincinnati’s coronavirus issues, it would make sense to bump the Thursday game in the Tigers-White Sox series into a doubleheader either this week or on Detroit’s return trip to Chicago in September. That would free up Nouveau Comiskey for a Cardinals-Tigers game or two, as both teams would already be there.
It wouldn’t be the first time that there have been non-White Sox games on the South Side, either. In 2004, the Marlins played two home games against the Expos there due to Hurricane Ivan impacting South Florida. The Marlins already had been in town playing the Cubs, while the Expos were pretty used to moving around that year, as they played a bunch of home games in Puerto Rico in their final season before moving to Washington.
Major League Baseball is making all of this season up as they go along anyway, and plenty of teams are playing road games in their own home parks, not to mention the Blue Jays playing home games in Buffalo, so why not get even weirder by playing a game or two in Chicago between two non-Chicago teams who were supposed to have different games on that day anyway?
At this rate, they’ve just got to play whatever games they can, wherever and whenever they can, because the next positive test always seems to be just a few days away.