NEW YORK, NY – The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t played baseball in over two weeks due to a #COVID outbreak in their clubhouse. The season is only three weeks old. With yesterday’s positive test, the total is 10 players and 8 staffers who have fallen ill since the outbreak started. Cam James’ Cards are set to resume their stunted season tomorrow, as the team is – as of now – cleared to make a bus trip to Chicago to play the White Sox.
Major League Baseball has insinuated that St. Louis will probably not play the full 60-game season. The League is hoping for 50 games right now. With several teams playing less than the full 60 games in that case, playoff positions would be determined by winning percentage. #MLB has about 30 games to make up due to the #COVID19 outbreaks on the Marlins and Coughin’ Cardinals and there are about 45 days left in the season to make up those games.
There will either be a lot of 7-inning double headers going forward, or a lot of games simply not played. I’m guessing it will be a combination of the two. With the Cardinals only having played five games so far, they will have to hope there are no more positive COVID tests and pray for good weather to have any shot of playing 50 games. There is no wiggle room for them at this point. Baseball still has a long road ahead to finish their season. The NBA and NHL are doing a much better job… so far.
Speaking of the NHL…
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing. Every day there are games on from noon ’til midnight. Usually two games in the Eastern Conference bubble in Toronto and two games in the Western Conference bubble in Edmonton. there has been plenty of excitement in the first round so far. the Lightning and Blue Jackets played five overtime periods in game 1 before the Lighting finally emerged triumphant with a 3-2 win. The league had to postpone the first game of the Bruins-Hurricanes series, so there were actually five games the next day. But the most exciting part of the playoffs so far was the second phase of the draft lottery held Monday night.
Since the 1st overall pick went to a placeholder team after the first phase of the lottery, all of the teams eliminated in the qualifying round each had an equal shot at the first overall pick going into the second phase. Conspiracy theorists (myself included) are convinced the lottery is rigged. I figured the winning ball would surely say, Pittsburgh or Edmonton.
But the Rangers’ ball was drawn and thus the Blueshirts have the #1 overall pick in the entry draft. The top prospect is 18-year old left winger Alexis Lafreniere, who is odds-on favorite to be New York’s choice with the first overall pick. But there is still a chance that the Blueshirts surprise people and take 17-year old centre Quinton Byfield. Lafreniere is the better player overall and has unmatched playmaking ability. But Byfield is no slouch. He’s got size, speed, and skill, averaging 1.82 points per game last season in the OHL. The Rangers have a plethora of left wingers and are short at the centre (Canadian spelling for Angry Ward) position.
In the end, I think the Rangers will still take Lafreniere. He’s too good to pass up. He’s a once-in-a-generation draft prospect and the organisation (again, Canadian spelling) would be foolish to not take him. But stranger things have happened before. We’ll see what Jeff Gorton and John Davidson do on October 9th.
Feel free to comment on whatever below and come back tomorrow for Short Matt, who is probably sitting in his ’98 Crowne Vic vying for parking somewhere in Hell’s Kitchen.