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Some players on the St. Louis Cardinals, who are one of a few teams dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that appears to be putting the baseball season in serious jeopardy, reportedly hit up a casino prior to the virus spreading around a sizable chunk of their roster.
On Monday, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported that rumors stating a couple of members of the team had gone to said gambling joint were true. As a result, the league has now tightened a rule on players leaving their team hotels:
As you can see in Heyman's tweet, going into Monday three players and four staff members for the team were confirmed positive. Those numbers have since increased to seven players and six staff members. As a result, their four-game series with the Detroit Tigers has been postponed. Right now the Cardinals are scheduled to resume their season on Friday, but you can probably file that under "we'll wait and see":
This all comes after St. Louis had a scheduled three-game series against the Brewers for this past weekend called off. Best case scenario, they have lots of double headers in their future:
After the report that some of their players had gone to a casino became public, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said he hadn't seen "any proof of that," but that if it were true it "would be disappointing":
"It's hard to think about the future when you're literally just trying to get through the day," Mozeliak also said, according to ESPN. "We're going to do everything we can to try to play. The morale up here is good, all things considered. I do think people are tired of sitting in their room, but you've got to put safety first."
The Cardinals are the second MLB team to have an outbreak on their roster. Before them a bunch of members of the Miami Marlins, including 18 players and three staff members, registered positive tests. Subsequently, the Marlins haven't been in action since July 26, though they're currently scheduled to resume play on Tuesday, August 4.
As a result of COVID-related bullshit, six teams were out of action on Sunday.
This run of challenges reportedly led to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred threatening to shutdown the season if teams don't get things under control. Now would be a good time to note that the Marlins had previously been accused of not following protocols:
Despite the gloomy forecast, on Saturday Manfred confirmed the league's commitment to playing out the season.
"We are playing," Manfred told ESPN's Karl Ravech. "The players need to be better, but I am not a quitter in general and there is no reason to quit now. We have had to be fluid, but it is manageable."
Get emotionally invested (which I am, but still) at your own risk.