The Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Washington Nationals 4-0 on Wednesday, a sentence that on the surface carries little to no substance beyond a box score. Of course, one layer beneath it begins to unveil just how borked baseball during this pandemic has increasingly become.
The Blue Jays were the home team in that game, batting in the bottom-half of innings. The game, though, was played in Nationals Park, Washington’s home. That’s because the entire country of Canada thought the Blue Jays attempting to routinely cross borders to ply their trade in Toronto and other US-based MLB cities was an awful idea, and put the kibosh on it altogether, forcing Toronto to look for homes in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. That didn’t work, either, so they’re going to eventually temporarily call Buffalo home as soon as they can retrofit lights to the old AAA stadium.
That’s the minor problem with MLB’s scheduling issues right now.
The major problem is with the actual virus, something the Miami Marlins have helped spread.
By last count, 19 Marlins have tested positive, per the Miami Herald, which is the primary driver for all of their games this week having been postponed. And since the last games the Marlins played were against the Philadelphia Phillies, it’s alarming as all hell to find out today that one coach and one other staffer in the Phillies organization tested positive today. That has led the Phillies to cancel their weekend series against the Blue Jays, per Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith.
The #BlueJays vs. Phillies games this weekend have been postponed per Charlie Montoyo— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) July 30, 2020
The ripple effect of this has already started, of course. If you pull up the MLB at-bat app and take a gander at the current New York Yankees schedule, you’ll see the below image, which is just comical at this point.
They were supposed to play the Phillies, but that got banged when the Phils suspended play in the wake of their Marlins series, and so the Yankees re-routed to play Baltimore instead, since Baltimore was supposed to be playing the Marlins, who were cancelled. And now we’ve got a homeless Blue Jays squad who, per Nicholson-Smith, is trying to simply stay in Washington and work out at Nationals Park over the weekend, something that might actually work out since Washington’s previously scheduled games have already been cancelled since they were supposed to be against - you guessed it - the Miami Marlins.
If not, they’ll head back ‘home’ to Buffalo for the time being, where they are still unable to host games. (Where the hell is their taxi squad practicing in all this, by the way?)
It’s a quagmire, and we’re six games into the season. Well, the Cincinnati Reds are six games into the season, but others are only three, four, five games in, since games keep getting banged left and right. It’s a situation that’s going to prompt the use of winning percentage to determine playoff spots at season’s end, should we make it there, since the reality of any team, let alone all teams playing a ‘full’ 60 game slate seems impossible at the moment.
(There. There it is. 500+ words on MLB’s scramble less than a full week into the season, all on a Reds blog, all with zero mention of what the Reds have been going through with their own mini-scare.)
We will see baseball played in the coming weeks. That part seems certain. How much, where, and against whom all appear to be daily questions, however, ones that no one in their right might should try to pre-plan for anymore, since the plans are going to keep changing by the minute.