Rome, New York native Rob Manfred, whose autograph is clearly displayed on every official big league baseball, might have to consider writing an early end to the 2020 season. The Major League Baseball Commissioner is finding out that COVID-19 is clearly bigger than the game.

At least 13 members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus, following a series in Philadelphia. As a result, the Marlins delayed their return to Miami. And games involving the Marlins and Phillies, who were scheduled to host the New York Yankees, had to be postponed.

The bigger issues for Major League Baseball are: What now? Is this just the tip of the iceberg? Can games be played safely?

After all, there's no controlled, virtual bubble, like Major League Soccer and the NBA are deploying. In baseball, you've got well over 1,000 players, coaches, and team personnel flying all over the country, staying in hotels, and interacting with each other.

And what about the managers, many of whom (Joe Maddon, Bud Black, Terry Francona, Dusty Baker) are in their sixties and therefore more at risk? Washington Nationals' manager Dave Martinez is in his mid-fifties and had heart surgery last year.

According to, Martinez is "scared."  And rightly so. Shouldn't these guys be quarantining at home instead of mixing it up with the virus?

Baseball should be one of the safer sports when it comes to close contact among the contestants. If baseball goes down, doesn't the whole sports world collapse like a ruined stack of Jenga blocks?

If you can't guarantee the safety of ballplayers who are mostly separated by dozens of feet of space instead of the requisite six, how can you possibly protect college and pro football players who make their livings in close proximity to one another and slam against each other with regularity?

If Las Vegas oddsmakers have a line on this, COVID-19 would have to be a heavy favorite right now. Just like an umpire who has to call a game due to inclement weather, Commissioner Manfred may soon have to step up to the plate and wave off the 2020 season.

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