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Rob Manfred places blame on players for COVID issues, says season is on: 'I am not a quitter'

For The Win logo For The Win 8/1/2020 Nate Scott
Rob Manfred wearing a suit and tie © Provided by For The Win

ESPN’s Karl Ravech spoke to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred this weekend, and shared a stunning quote to his Twitter account following the conversation.

In the quote, Manfred appears to place blame on the players themselves for the rash of positive COVID-19 tests that have led to postponed games across the league, before defiantly doubling down on his commitment to keep the season going despite the positive tests.

“We are playing,” Manfred said, according to 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.”

This MLB season has been, to put it simply, a mess. After negotiations for the season dragged on for weeks (with the players’ union alleging that MLB was simply trying to limit the number of games for cost-saving purposes) the two sides settled on a 60-game season with little margin for error.

With the NBA, MLS, and NWSL playing in remote bubbles, MLB went the other way, playing games in home stadiums with teams traveling to and from. They had a testing plan in place, but with so many games in such a tight window, and tests taking long to process, it was less than a week before the league had its first major outbreak with the Marlins.

The league has since had more positive tests, and it appears that Manfred is now going to try and place the blame for these outbreaks on the players themselves … as opposed to the league.

Considering the NBA, MLS, and NWSL are all showing how it can be done, it seems like a pretty bold strategy of Manfred to try and put this on the players, and not on the league’s strategy (or lack thereof) itself.

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