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Elephant Rumblings: More players test positive for coronavirus, including Charlie Blackmon

MLB news roundup

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Miami Marlins v Colorado Rockies
Charlie Blackmon
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

Major League Baseball will have a 2020 season after all! The league made an official announcement on Tuesday, with players reporting to camp on July 1 (one week from today) and then opening a 60-game campaign on July 23 or 24. Click here for all the details, including roster sizes, new temporary rule changes, other key dates, and some of the health and safety protocols.

Of course, there is still the threat of the coronavirus pandemic hanging over all of these plans. The situation continues to worsen in many states around the country, and you’d have to imagine that if it gets bad enough then the season could be called off once again, though there’s no official word on where that line might be drawn.

For now, though, cases have already begun to spring up around the league. Over the weekend MLB shut down all 30 spring training sites after multiple teams reported new cases and/or symptoms, and by Sunday there were 40 positive tests among major league players and personnel, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. At least 10 teams were affected, says insider Jon Heyman.

That total grew on Tuesday, as three Rockies players tested positive, reports Kyle Newman of the Denver Post. The players are All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon, and pitchers Phillip Diehl and Ryan Castellani, all of whom had been working out at Coors Field. Newman says that only one of the trio was symptomatic, and that tests came back negative on all other players who had been at the same facility.

The Phillies also announced a few new cases. In addition to the eight they reported last week, further tests revealed four more, bringing the tally to a dozen — seven players and five staffers.

Baseball (temporarily) made it through a bitter labor dispute this summer, at least enough to return to the field, but the virus is an opponent that can’t be negotiated with. Hopefully the safety protocols, both within the league and among the general population, are enough to keep the spread in check well enough for the sport to continue unimpeded and everyone to stay healthy.

“Little doubt Covid is the real threat to the MLB season,” said Heyman.

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The 2020 schedule

Extra note on that schedule

Important question

Another important question

You can’t go to the Coliseum, but maybe you can still be there

Are you ready?!