Ever since COVID-19 wiped out the U.S. sports calendar, I’ve felt tension between my desire to see games and my anxiety about whether it’s safe or ethical to play them. My wishes were on a long losing streak to my worries. But recent trends in MLB and MLS provide some hope that the underdog of a safe sports calendar in 2020 is rallying against the heavy favorite of the novel coronavirus making that impossible.
MLB and the players’ union latest weekly audit of COVID-19 testing showed six new positives out of 10,548 samples (.05%). The total number of new positive tests for players and staff since the start of monitoring was 23 out of 17,949 (0.1%), with no positives for 17 of 30 teams. Include intake testing, which began June 27, and there have been 93 positive tests out of 21,701 samples.
Those are encouraging numbers for a sport that’s not in a so-called bubble. It may not stay that way once MLB teams start traveling extensively. Still, getting through summer camps without the whole thing blowing up is a start. It appears baseball will make it to Thursday’s opening day with nearly all players who reported for camp free of the coronavirus.