Manfred on Friday told MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark on Friday that if the sport doesn't do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could shut down for the season, sources familiar with the conversation told ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Marlins players reportedly went out during their recent road trip in Atlanta and congregated at their hotel bar, leading to anger by their peers around Major League Baseball.
The team hasn't played since Sunday in Philadelphia but hopes to resume games next week. But it quickly became apparent that the league would attempt to soldier on, which Manfred confirmed in that MLB Network interview, explaining that the point of the expanded rosters and the taxi squads implemented in this brief season was to allow organizations to continue to field a team even during an outbreak.
On Thursday, the Philadelphia Phillies postponed their weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays after two staff members tested positive. A couple of Phillies players tested positive Friday morning resulting in a sense of urgency for Major League Baseball.
The Miami Marlins have seen 18 players and two coaches test positive for COVID-19. The Miami Herald reported Friday that the team is putting the infected players on buses that will take them from Philadelphia, where they have been quarantining, back to Miami. Two St. Louis Cardinals players were then said to have tested positive for coronavirus on Friday.
The schedules of the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles have also been scrambled.
Marlins players left their hotel to go out at night while in Atlanta on July 21 and 22, Miller reports. While other leagues are tightly restricting the movements and contacts of their players and staff, MLB has basically said, "You be careful out there!". Cleveland players and staff talked about postponing Friday night's game at Minnesota.