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MLB smelled like no other sport in its first real challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic

We do not know the source of the coronavirus outbreak among the Miami Marlins. This is what we do know: we know they knew. There was a problem, and the Marlins chose to reject it. Manager Don Mattingly said publicly that “they never really considered not playing.” And that includes the players, according to shortstop Miguel Rojas, who told the media that the team chose to compete.

It is a celebrated sporting tradition, the idea of ​​playing hurt. The words ‘The Flu Game’ still resonate among NBA fans almost a quarter of a century later. Baseball has the Bloody Sock. Pittsburgh’s Nick Bonino played two bouts of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final against Nashville with a broken leg after an opponent’s shot hit him in the shin.

However, this is not the case and the Marlins should have been smart enough to make it happen.

MORE: Breaking Down MLB’s Potential Next Step After Marlins COVID Outbreak

And, more to the point, Major League Baseball should have made it perfectly clear. In fact, MLB should not have given the club a choice in this matter. The fact that four players could test positive before Sunday’s game, according to ESPN.com, and the game still continues, is at odds with the approach needed to host a professional sports league amid a continuing pandemic.

The only way anyone can get through this is with responsibility, vigilance and austerity. MLB has failed in all areas in this circumstance, and that’s not how it has worked so far in other sports that have returned to the league.

We don’t know how several members of both FC Dallas and Nashville SC contracted the virus before arriving in Orlando for the start of the MLS is Back Tournament. However, we know how they were treated. After nine Nashville players tested positive, the team officials asked if the remaining players wanted to participate. They said they did. MLS said, no, we’ll make it without you. When FC Dallas showed up with ten players and one employee who tested positive, Major League Soccer “pulled them out of the tournament.”

We don’t know how the Penguins nearly had a problem with the virus when they returned to training camp earlier this month. Well, we kind of do that. As James Taylor sang it in “Her Town, Too,” it was “maybe a friend of a friend’s friend.” Seriously, the Pens held out nine players from the start of workouts, including two-time champion Patric Hornqvist, because they “ interacted with a person who interacted with a person who tested positive for the COVID-19 practice. ”

They all missed more than a week, although none, according to a league release, ever tested positive on Tuesday. In fact, no player in the league has tested positive since the camp started, over 800 players took 4,256 tests. Completely clean.

MORE: MLB’s Coronavirus Rules, Explained

When Sacramento Kings center Richaun Holmes left the NBA bubble to pick up a food order, he was ordered to quarantine for 10 days before he could rejoin the team. In the German Bundesliga, manager Heiko Herrlich from Augsburg had to miss his team’s first game because he left the team hotel to buy toothpaste.

The American leagues that successfully resumed the game had problems. MLS had to exclude two of the 26 teams. The NWSL, which completed its Challenge Cup tournament on Sunday, had to remove one of nine. However, they were willing to do whatever was necessary to protect the competition.

In Major League Baseball, the first test has not been passed and is not spectacular either.

There is no excuse for that.

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