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MLB Laying Down the Law; Hiring Officials to Watch Players in Team Hotels, Clubhouses

It sounds like Major League Baseball is getting fed up with its players looking to sabotage the 2020 shortened season with not playing by the rules when they are not on the field.

According to Bob Nightengale of the USA Today, MLB is hiring “officials” to “monitor clubhouses and team hotels to assure there are no violations.”

The league took a massive hit when the Miami Marlins had more than 20 players and personnel test positive for the covid-19 virus.

The St.Louis Cardinals also were hit with a positive test outbreak, as a reported seven players tested positive for covid-19.

Major League Baseball due to the two teams having outbreaks was forced to postpone 21 different MLB games impacting a total of nine teams.

Three of the league's 15 games (20 percent) scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday were not played.

USA Today obtained a six-page memo that was sent out to all MLB teams.

“We recognize that these changes place additional burdens and restrictions on players and staff, but if we desire to play, they are necessary to limit infections and, if someone does test positive, to keep the virus from spreading. 

"The behavior of every covered individual affects the players and staff on his or her team, and on other clubs as well,” the memo said.

“Everyone must be accountable for their own conduct because the careless or reckless actions of a few can impact the health and well-being of everyone.’’

The memo stated that a player could be suspended for the remainder of the season for repeated or flagrant violations.

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“Any covered individuals — whether players or club staff — who are found to have repeatedly or flagrantly violated the protocols, including refusing to wear a face covering when required and reminded to do so,’’ the memo stated. 

“Risks being prohibited from further participation in the 2020 season and postseason (in the case of players, subject to the just cause provisions in the Basic Agreement). The Commissioner’s Office will send written warnings prior to any such action being taken.’’

Rumors have stated that Marlins players acquired the virus after a night out in Atlanta during the team's summer camp exhibition games against the Braves.

Miami CEO Derek Jeter rebutted those rumors, saying that the team was not “running around Atlanta.”

"Our guys were not running all around town in Atlanta," Jeter said.

"We did have a couple of individuals leave the hotel. We had guys leave to get coffee, to get clothes. A guy left to have dinner at a teammate's house. There were no other guests on site.

“There was no salacious activity. There was no hanging out at bars, no clubs, no running around Atlanta."

As for the Cardinals, rumors had it they were at a casino in Minnesota when they were in the city to play the Twins.

St.Louis executive John Mozeliak shot down those rumors.

"I have no factual reason to believe that is true, and I have not seen any proof of that," Mozeliak said. "If they were at a casino, though, that would be disappointing."

At this point Major League Baseball can ill afford to have another team have an outbreak, forcing more games to get pushed back or postponed all together.

The league is serious about making sure the players follow the rules, even if it means having to spend money on having enforcers at hotels and making sure players are not taking unnecessary risks that puts the league at risk.