For the first time during the 2022 season, a game has been postponed because of a COVID-19 cluster. The scheduled Wednesday afternoon game between the Guardians and White Sox has been postponed because of positive tests within the Cleveland roster.
Here’s the full statement from MLB:
Following multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the Cleveland Guardians organization, their afternoon road game today vs. the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field has been postponed to allow for continued testing and contact tracing. Major League Baseball will provide a rescheduling update when it becomes available.
According to MLB’s Mandy Bell, longtime Cleveland manager Terry Francona and bench coach DeMarlo Hale were among those to test positive, along with “other uniform personnel and some traveling support staff.”
A number of teams have dealt with positive tests this season and endured some level of roster upheaval, but until Wednesday the schedule had not been altered by COVID. Of note is that the 2022 schedule is already compressed because of the owner lockout that spanned much of the offseason and pushed back Opening Day roughly a week.
MLB has dealt with COVID-related disruptions since the spring of 2020. Spring training of 2020 was interrupted at the pandemic widened, and the regular season was eventually abbreviated to 60 games. In 2021, travel and ballpark-capacity restrictions because of COVID also rendered the season something less than normal.
The hope of course is that what happened Wednesday in Chicago is not the first of many cancellations. If that scenario is realized, then MLB could see the return of more strict protocols.