MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers’ home opener will have to wait until after this weekend.
Major League Baseball initially postponed Saturday’s Cardinals-Brewers game at Miller Park after additional positive tests for COVID-19 within the Cardinals' traveling party, impacting one additional player and multiple staff members. On Saturday night, the league announced the postponement of the other two games in the series -- a planned doubleheader that was set for Sunday.
“It’s a waiting game,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “We understand that Major League Baseball needs as much information as possible before making decisions about cancelling games, and so we’re kind of prepared to play every single day until we are told otherwise. And that’s the way we’re going to approach it.”
Friday was originally the Brewers’ home opener, but that game was postponed and pushed to Sunday after the Cardinals learned that two players were positive for the virus. They received the news Thursday night, and immediately instructed players and staff to self-isolate at the team hotel in downtown Milwaukee. On Friday, the entire traveling party underwent additional testing -- both a rapid test processed locally by Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin as well as a saliva test sent away for processing.
In its announcement on Saturday afternoon, MLB said the additional positives were a result of the rapid tests. The league was still awaiting the results of the saliva tests.
Additionally, MLB reported there were no positive tests among any of the other teams on Friday.
“We really have to be vigilant, and we have to follow our protocols,” Stearns said. “They are there for a reason, and we continue to stress that we are all responsible for this. This is not on any one person or any group of people to enforce. We are all adults, and we all have to take individual responsibilities to protect each other and ourselves. We have all the resources to do so.
“We have devoted as an organization a tremendous amount of resources to keeping everyone safe, and it’s incumbent upon all of us to do our part and act responsibly.”
The Cardinals have not left their hotel since learning of the initial positive tests. Before getting word of those results, the team had an off-day in Milwaukee on Thursday and did not work out at Miller Park, though some coaches and staff members did visit the stadium to do advance work. Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said several players also attended.
Brewers visiting clubhouse personnel did not come into direct contact with any Cardinals personnel “out of an abundance of caution,” according to Stearns. Nonetheless, those Brewers visiting clubhouse personnel were also tested on Friday, and the clubhouse itself underwent “a very robust and deep cleaning.”
After the series opener was postponed, the Brewers worked out on the field at Miller Park on Friday.
After this series against the Cardinals, Milwaukee’s schedule has home games against the White Sox on Monday night and Tuesday night at Miller Park.
“If we can do this safely, I want to go forward, yes,” Stearns said. “And I think the players want to play. That’s why they are here. We have had a rocky start to this, and we’ve had a greater concentration of positives [on individual teams] than we anticipated coming into this. I don’t know if the volume of positives has been greater -- it’s probably been less. But the concentration has been concerning, and we have to figure out why that is.”