PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Phillies continue to wait while the rest of Major League Baseball plays on. Nearly a week since their last game and potential exposure to the coronavirus, many believe it may be time to pull the plug on the season.
Another day of negative COVID-19 tests for the Phillies means they were able to work out inside Citizens Bank Park as their schedule continues to be tinkered with by Major League Baseball.
“I don’t think they’re going to have a season, to tell you the truth,” John Kaproosian, of Upper Darby, said.
The Phillies were allowed to come back to work Saturday — sort of. As more teams develop COVID-19-related issues, many are growing wary about the prospects of a completed season.
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“How many doubleheaders can these guys play? Either that or expand the rosters or something like that to get some more pitchers and more players so these guys don’t die playing doubleheader after doubleheader after doubleheader,” Kaproosian said.
The Miami Marlins have 18 players infected with the virus. An MLB investigation found the culprit of the spread was at least one player going to a bar in Atlanta before the team came to Philly — showing just how fragile this entire MLB ecosystem is.
MLB COVID-19 protocols say the league will not formally restrict the actions of players when they’re away from team facilities, but the league does expect players to act responsibly.
“My view is if somebody’s health, somebody’s life is in jeopardy, then as much as we miss it, it’s just not worth it,” Lou D’Ambrosio, of Villanova, said.
With no games to watch, a Saturday picnic celebrating D’Ambrosio’s 56th birthday was held outside the left-field gate. While the Phillies were allowed to work out 100 yards away, D’Ambrosio wondered if it’s even worth it.
“It is what it is. I mean it’s safety first, and I think on the one hand I can understand everybody’s emotions, there are just certain risks not worth taking,” D’Ambrosio said.
“I feel like the MLB could be handling this a little bit better,” Sam Rossman, of South Philadelphia, said. “The rate they’re going, I wouldn’t be surprised if they shut down in two more weeks.”
Beginning Saturday, baseball is allowing doubleheaders to only be seven innings long in an effort to preserve the health of its pitchers.
But Commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly told the Players Association this week that continued COVID-19 outbreaks could put a stop to the season.
The Phillies are scheduled to return to play Monday night in New York against the Yankees, beginning a home-and-home series originally scheduled for last week.