While the re-opening of the country remains something of a patchwork affair, there is the beginning of a consensus about one thing: the resumption of professional sports.
Yesterday California Governor Gavin Newsom said that if the current rates of progress in fighting COVID-19 continue, pro sports could return in the “first week or so of June without spectators and modifications and very prescriptive conditions.”
Meanwhile, in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said yesterday that he has asked major league sports teams to start planning to play their seasons without fans as well. What’s more, he said “New York state will help those major sport franchises to do just that,” saying, “whoever can reopen we’re a ready, willing and able partner.” This despite the fact that New York City has not yet approached the benchmarks the state has set with respect to the state’s phased reopening program.
Finally, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an order allowing professional golf, auto racing, baseball, softball, tennis, and football to resume as of May 31 if they wish.
Major League Baseball and the MLBPA, as you know, are in negotiations about starting the season in early July, with spring training to resume either at a team’s ballpark or in Florida or Arizona. Teams whose states do not allow the resumption of sports by Opening Day will find neutral sites.
Now that the three largest states in the country — containing nine of baseball’s 30 teams — have given the green light, expect most others to follow suit.
MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.
Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.
The entire camp was placed in quarantine.
“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”
Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.
The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.
“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”