COVID-19 outbreaks on two teams have upended Major League Baseball's season, but commissioner Rob Manfred still believes the league's safety protocols are working overall.
"I think the vast majority of our players have done a really good job adhering to what are difficult protocols," Manfred told ESPN's Jesse Rogers. "They're contrary to the way people normally live their lives.
"Relatively small deviations from the protocols can cause serious problems. That's a reality. ... Any individual act, you say, 'Wow, not a big deal,' but those individual acts can cause problems."
After multiple players tested positive for COVID-19, the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals were both forced to shut down their seasons temporarily. The Marlins disobeyed proper protocols while on a road trip in Atlanta; some Cardinals players reportedly visited a casino, though the team denied the story.
Miami returned to the field on Tuesday, while St. Louis will resume its season on Friday.
Going forward, Manfred is implementing additional protocols to help prevent more outbreaks around the league. Some of the measures include mandatory surgical masks, more aggressive social distancing measures on team planes, and doing a better job of keeping bullpens distanced. Testing will continue to be done every other day for now.
"We believe, in the two serious outbreaks, that we can identify deviations from the protocols that resulted in the situations that we had," Manfred said. "The key is vigilance. It's vigilance on the part of the commissioner's office, club officials, players, and everyone involved in the game."