'Tough stuff': Tigers' season could be paused amid Cardinals' positive tests
Detroit — The Tigers could become the latest team to have their season paused by the COVID-19 pandemic as Major League Baseball's already-shortened season appears possibly on the brink of collapse.
The St. Louis Cardinals, who are scheduled to play the Tigers four games from Monday through Thursday, are the latest MLB team dealing with at least a small COVID-19 outbreak among players and staff.
At least three Cardinals players have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as multiple staff members, MLB confirmed Saturday afternoon. MLB said some of the staff members' test results could've been false positives.
The Cardinals currently are quarantined in Milwaukee, where their Friday and Saturday games were canceled. A doubleheader is scheduled, though certainly in doubt, for Sunday. MLB already is approaching 30 canceled games.
The Cardinals are scheduled to play two games in Detroit on Monday and Tuesday, before the Tigers play two games in St. Louis on Wednesday and Thursday.
"We heard about it. Just waiting to see what happens. We can't control that," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said before Saturday afternoon's game against the Reds. "It's tough stuff. We will just prepare to play. We'll try to beat the weather today and lock it up again tomorrow. We'll see what happens after that. We can't control any of that."
Tigers general manager Al Avila hasn't yet commented on the reports.
The latest news about the Cardinals comes a day after reports surfaced saying commissioner Rob Manfred informed the players' union the season is in jeopardy. Then, on Friday night, Keith Olbermann reported that MLB informed national TV networks to have alternate programming available as soon as Monday.
Fox Sports Detroit, which carries the Tigers, has not yet been contacted by MLB.
MLB said Saturday it will continue to take a conservative approach when reacting to positive tests.
Eight teams' seasons have been interrupted by COVID-19, most notably the Marlins, who have had a full-on outbreak on their roster, though they haven't had any recent tests and are hopeful to resume play Tuesday. Also with games canceled, besides the Cardinals and Brewers, are the Phillies, Orioles, Yankees, Nationals and Blue Jays.
The Phillies, on Saturday morning, released a statement saying they've received their latest tests, and there are no new positives, so they're opening up Citizens Bank Park again to their players. It's in Philadelphia where the Marlins' outbreak — with more than half their roster — first surfaced. Those positive Marlins players were preparing to bus back to Miami, where they will be quarantined and not allowed to return to their houses.
Last week, MLB kicked off its 60-game season with several altered rules, including an expanded 16-team postseason and DHs in both leagues. This week, MLB and the players' union agreed to seven-inning doubleheader games.