The Miami Marlins’ preventable disaster shows the Cleveland Browns’ J.C. Tretter and the NFLPA how not to prepare for Covid-19.
Miami Marlins, by screwing up on COVID-19 testing and preparation, shows the need for the NFLPA, NFLPA president J.C. Tretter of the Cleveland Browns and Executive Director DeMaurice Smith to work towards a better plan for coping with COVID-19.
At last count, the Marlins had 17 players and coaches test positive for COVID-19. Hopefully they will achieve a full recovery from what is still a life-threatening illness. If a positive spin can be placed on it, it may be the wake-up call everyone needed.
MLB seems to think the problem will go away by cancelling two or three games. Good luck with that.
In contrast to the NBA’s strict bubble system, in which the players are camped out at isolated hotels in Orlando, with quarantines to get in or out, MLB has a relaxed system in which wearing masks are optional, there are no bubbles per se, and the teams continue to travel between cities. The players have not been wearing masks, they slap high fives after victories, and they have mob scenes at home plate when they win in the ninth inning. How well does it work? Well not at all, thank you.
Basketball millionaires are not necessarily thrilled about staying at the same hotel for months, but they realize strict protocols are necessary to play basketball. But they are playing basketball, so it may be possible to have professional sports. Spoiled baseball players, on the other hand, figure they can get by, just by playing lip service. Hey, they are rich athletes. COVID-19 would not dare mess around with rich baseball players, right?
One of the most awful and horrifically stupid features of the MLB plan is that it does not call for daily testing. So if one of the millionaires gets the virus, he sits in the dugout with no mask and no gloves giving high fives and spitting tobacco juice with everyone else. He gets every possible chance to infect others with the virus until finally they get around to testing him or he gets so sick he runs a fever or turns green. Since baseball and the players do not respect COVID-19, COVID-19 is beating them.
What is wrong with daily testing? It probably costs twenty bucks. MLB owners should use GoFundMe if they can’t afford to pay. You need to identify the virus carriers immediately and isolate them to avoid spreading the disease. That is just common sense.
Note, however, that Tretter and the NFL Player’s Association were adamant about having daily testing, and the NFL owners finally saw the wisdom in that position. Daily testing will allow the almost immediate isolation of those who get sick so they can get treated and avoid transmitting the virus to others. There is a very good chance the NFL will be able to outperform MLB.
The lack of an NBA-like “bubble” is worrisome, however. Maybe they need to look at ways to tighten that up. They have the advantage of a maximum 20 game schedule rather than 60 as MLB intends to play. They might have to reconsider ways to reduce travel time, via more divisional games, more neutral site games or some kind of movable sports bubble. A moveable sports bubble seems rather exotic, but after being in the military it’s rather simple to stay together as a unit for an extended period of time in order to survive.
However, daily testing may well prove to be the most important factor, and that is already part of the NFL plan, thanks to Tretter and the NFLPA. They have shown great foresight this off-season, though they may need even more to ensure the 2020 season is played out as it should be.