Associated Press

Marlins decide to play via group text

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The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the decision to play yesterday’s Marlins-Phillies game was made not by the team’s leadership, not by Major League Baseball, and not by any public health or medical experts. It was made by the players.

Over group text:

Major League Baseball issued a 113-page operations manual to all club employees before the start of the season. It outlines everything from on-field rules to testing procedures and what happens if a player tests positive. But Sunday afternoon, the status of the game amid a coronavirus outbreak was decided by a group text-message between Marlins players.

According to the story the final call was mostly made by shortstop Miguel Rojas, who is the team’s clubhouse leader. Rojas told the Inquirer, “we made the decision that we’re going to continue to do this and we’re going to continue to be responsible and just play the game as hard as we can.”

That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works. Or at least it’s not how it should work.

As the Inquirer story notes, Major League Baseball’s painfully detailed COVID-19 protocols are supposed to dictate everything. But they did not, apparently, dictate any sort of isolating despite the fact the team was in close quarters for several days leading up to the multiple positive tests that emerged yesterday morning. And the decision to play was made not by any health experts or anyone in any sort of formal leadership position, but by players whose driving philosophy in all of this was “we play hard.” Which is exactly the sort of impulse that having clear, organized, medical and science-driven processes is supposed to push back against. Athletes will ALWAYS want to play hard if they’re able to and allowed to. During a pandemic that Major League Baseball purports to take seriously, structures should be in place that head off that emotional impulse in favor of a rational one.

Either Major League Baseball’s health and safety protocols have no data-driven mechanisms via which games are postponed and no formal hierarchy that makes such determinations, or else it has them but they were allowed to be ignored in this instance. It has to be one or the other because “Miguel Rojas decides via group text” is probably not in the manual.

Which is it? Did the league fail to plan for this eventuality or did it ignore its plans?

Will fans be allowed to attend MLB playoff games?

The MLB Playoffs are underway!
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After a condensed 60-game regular season, the MLB playoffs kicked off this week with an usual 16-team format that you can read more about below, but one of the many questions on everyone’s mind is whether or not fans will be allowed to attend MLB playoff games.

Will fans be allowed to go to MLB playoff games?

There have been no spectators at any games this season but fans will finally have the opportunity to go to the NL Championship Series and World Series at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas–one of the few states allowing spectators to attend events this year. The NLCS is scheduled on seven straight days from Oct. 12-18 and the World Series from Oct. 20-28, with traditional off days between Games 2 and 3 and Games 5 and 6, if the Series goes that far. Major League Baseball said Wednesday that about 11,500 tickets will be available for each game.

Below is the format and locations for each round. Unlike the regular season, there will be a bubble setup for each series in the postseason with the exception of the Wild Card round. Click here for the MLB schedule and scoreboard.

MLB Playoffs Format

Wild Card Series (Best-of-three): September 29 – October 2

All games will be held at the higher seed’s ball park.

American League

No. 1 Rays vs. No. 8 Blue Jays
No. 2 Athletics vs. No. 7 White Sox
No. 3 Twins vs. No. 6 Astros
No. 4 Cleveland vs. No. 5 Yankees

National League

No. 1 Dodgers vs. No. 8 Brewers
No. 2 Braves vs. No. 7 Reds
No. 3 Cubs vs. No. 6 Marlins
No. 4 Padres vs. No. 5 Cardinals

Division Series (Best-of-five): October 5 -10

The American League Division Series will be contested at Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The National League Division Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston.

League Championship Series (Best-of-seven): October 11-18

The American League Championship Series will be held at Petco Park in San Diego while the National League Championship Series will take place at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

World Series (Best-of-seven): October 20-28

The World Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington. Home field advantage will go to the team with the best regular-season record.

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