RIVALRY SERIES IS COVID VICTIM
Cubs’ weekend set with Cardinals postponed; Epstein calls it ‘absolutely the right thing to do’
What felt like an inevitable outcome for the Cubs earlier in the week has become an unfortunate reality.
The Cubs’ series against the Cardinals in St. Louis was postponed Friday after at least one Cardinals player tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test comes a week after the Cardinals were hit by MLB’s second outbreak, with 13 members of their traveling party testing positive for coronavirus.
“Based on the information MLB has shared with us, postponing this series is a necessary step to protect the health and safety of the Cardinals and the Cubs,” president Theo Epstein said in a statement. “Therefore, it is absolutely the right thing to do. While it’s obviously less than ideal, this is 2020 and we will embrace whatever steps are necessary to promote player and staff well-being and increase our chances of completing this season in safe fashion. We will be ready to go on Tuesday in Cleveland. In the meantime, we wish the Cardinals personnel involved a quick and complete recovery.”
Cubs players, coaching staff and front office have put on a brave face amid baseball’s recent outbreaks and while they’ve acknowledged the lack of control the sport has over the pandemic, the organization would continue to do everything in its power to keep everyone safe.
One issue that can not be ignored is that the Cardinals positive tests are not only affecting them, but affecting other teams in baseball.
The Cardinals already have had to postpone their series with the Brewers and Tigers, and the status of the latest tests is unknown.
The Cardinals also are scheduled to play the White Sox next week.
“I do think that is a concern. You sort of assume we don’t play the same schedule, but roughly the same schedule and this is a competitive business. We’re all looking to make the playoffs and looking to win a championship and you want people to be competing in the same way,” general manager Jed Hoyer said last week.
The Cubs are still MLB’s only team without a positive COVID-19 test by a player since the original intake, but playing the Cardinals this weekend would pose a major risk to the team’s seemingly seamless handling of the situation.
The Cardinals held a workout on Thursday after quarantining in Milwaukee for seven days. It’s possible that players and coaches could have unknowingly been exposed to the virus during the team’s workout by the infected player.
Players have voiced their day-to-day approach with the virus, but you can tell with each positive test, there is still growing concern about the threat these outbreaks pose not only to their health, but the health of their families.
“I think there’s always concern,” Jon Lester said last week. “I think there was concern coming in — Day 1. That concern obviously hasn’t gone down. I think all that we can really do is worry about the Chicago Cubs. I know that kind of sounds selfish with everything going on in the world. You don’t ever wish anybody to get sick or anything like that. But if we continue to follow our protocols that we have in place as the Chicago Cubs and the protocols that MLB has in place, I feel like it puts us in a good position to succeed.
“It’s unfortunate that this stuff keeps popping up. But I mean, it really is kind of the world that we’re in right now. And we just have to keep plowing forward and hopefully try to play some more baseball.” ✶
“I think there was concern coming in — day 1. That concern obviously hasn’t gone down. I think all that we can really do is worry about the Chicago Cubs.”
JON LESTER, on how the cubs view the ongoing problems created by the coronavirus
The Cardinals continue to be plagued by COVID-19 issues. The team also had series against the Brewers and Tigers postponed.
David Ross’ team will be idle until Tuesday, when the Cubs will play the Indians in Cleveland.