Rob Manfred Says "We Are Playing" But That Players Need to do Better

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:

Less than a day after warning that the already abbreviated Major League Baseball season could be halted, Commissioner Rob Manfred reassured "We are playing" in an interview with ESPN's Karl Ravech.

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"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."

Nearly two dozen Miami Marlins players have tested positive for Covid-19.  As many as six individuals with the Cardinals organization have reportedly tested positive as well.

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Manfred acknowledged Saturday that not every team might play all 60 games this season, and winning percentage could be used to determine playoff teams.

"We've got to be flexible on that," Manfred told The Associated Press on Saturday. "Look, this is one of the reasons that we revisited the issue off the expanded playoffs. If it turns out that some guys play 60, some guys play 58, they have this new thing called winning percentage. We can sort that out."

The Cardinals positive cases forced the postponement of that club's series versus the Milwaukee Brewers.

Major League Baseball took another hit when it was confirmed Saturday that the Brewers OF Lorenzo Cain has chosen to opt out the rest of the season.  Unless Cain is deemed to be a high-risk individual, he will not receive pay or service-time credit for the remainder of the season.

Should Major League Baseball's season continue beyond this weekend, the Brewers would likely turn Ben Gamel as their most-days center fielder.

Additionally it was revealed that Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez will be done for season due to heart issue that some believe is a result of an earlier bout with Covid-19.  That has yet to be confirmed.

While he was cleared and returned to workouts on July 18, he was shut down a week later after an MRI revealed his ailment.

"It is what the public health experts have been saying from the beginning about this, that there is no one big magic fix," Manfred told The AP.

"The protocols are a series of little things that people need to do. We've had some problems. In order to be better, it's another series of little things. I think it's peer pressure. I think it's players taking personal responsibility. I think it's the union helping us like Tony Clark helped us yesterday. And I think it's us managing more aggressively."

There was also some good news Saturday as the league announced a number of Marlins players have been cleared to play beginning Tuesday for a four-game series (3 days) in Baltimore.

- Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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