Twenty percent of Major League Baseball games previously scheduled for Sunday weren’t played because of positive coronavirus tests on multiple teams. MLB planned for outbreaks similar to that of the Miami Marlins, but the season remains on the brink of cancelation as COVID-19 affects more teams.
Through Sunday, 17 different MLB games have been postponed in a season less than two weeks old. If the season finishes without further cancelations, the games are expected to be made up through doubleheaders. The league could also determine the postseason based on winning percentage.
TV partners have already been warned that a shutdown could come as early as today and to find alternative programming, according to ESPN’s Keith Olbermann. A stoppage in play could be catastrophic for networks, as Fox and Turner nearly sold out of their MLB ad inventory after television networks lost an estimated $420 million in April without sports.
On Friday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark that protocols need to be followed more closely or the season could be shut down as early as this week. On Saturday, he told ESPN’s Karl Ravech “there is no reason to quit now – we have had to be fluid, but it is manageable.”