Commissioner Rob Manfred confident MLB can avoid coronavirus stoppage

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says he’s confident his sport can get through the regular season and postseason without being stopped by the coronavirus, though not every team might play all 60 games and winning percentage could be used to determine playoff teams.

During an interview Saturday with the Associated Press, Manfred said MLB knows which player introduced the coronavirus into the clubhouse of the Marlins. Miami and Philadelphia both postponed games for an entire week.

“I think that if everybody does what they are supposed to do, we can continue to play, have a credible season and get through the postseason,” Manfred said.

That’s not good enough for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who announced Saturday he will not play the remainder of the season. Cain, a married father of three young sons, said he made the decision “after careful consideration and discussion with my family.”

Cain’s decision caught the attention of several MLB players as he joined the ranks of fellow former All-Star selections Buster Posey, David Price and Ryan Zimmerman, who announced last month they wouldn’t play this season.

“Obviously Lorenzo Cain is a big part of of the MLB fraternity,” Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester said. “A great player, you know, a face for a franchise. So, you know, him opting out is a huge blow for not only the Milwaukee Brewers but, you know, fans of Lorenzo Cain.”

Miami second baseman Isan Diaz also opted out Saturday.

Milwaukee’s entire three-game series against St. Louis at Miller Park this weekend was postponed because multiple members of the Cardinals tested positive for the coronavirus.

Just 1½ weeks into a pandemic-delayed regular season shortened from 162 games per team to 60, the coronavirus has forced 19 postponements in 11 days.

At least 18 Marlins players have been infected along with two Cardinals players.

“It is what the public health experts have been saying from the beginning about this, that there is no one big magic fix,” Manfred said.

Miami, which last played July 26 at Philadelphia, is set to resume its schedule Tuesday at Baltimore. The Phillies are due back Monday at Yankee Stadium.

Briefly: Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will miss the entire season because of heart inflammation caused by COVID-19. He has been on the injured list since mid-July and has not pitched this season. … Angels center fielder Mike Trout and his wife, Jessica, announced the birth of their first child, a boy named Beckham Aaron Trout. … The White Sox placed shortstop Tim Anderson on the injured list with a strained right groin and recalled catcher Yermin Mercedes.

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