ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- There were times throughout the negotiations between the players' union and Major League Baseball owners that Andrew Miller, a veteran on the committee involved in those talks, that he felt a season was unlikely because of disagreements between the sides.
The biggest threat of all to the season both sides agreed on.
And it's still there.
"Absolutely. I think there's still some doubt that we're going to have a season now," Miller said. "We're here, but I'm from Florida – I read my local every day and I think we're over 10,000 (coronavirus) cases again. By no means is this a slam dunk. We're trying. We're going to give it our best effort. But for me to sit here and say 100% I think would be a lie."
Miller served on the Major League Baseball Players' Association executive subcommittee that was involved in the back and forth with owners during the stoppage of play.
Through it all Miller stressed the importance of health and safety for the players and that any agreement had to address that through expanded testing and also allowing players to police themselves through clubhouse codes of conduct. He reiterated that view Sunday during a video conference call with St. Louis media, some of whom were gathered at the ballpark.
"If this is going to work, if Major League Baseball is going to have a season it's going to because players have been responsible, and staff," Miller said, and then listed the types of ballpark positions in tiers 1 and 2 that must stay disciplined to keep the virus at the ballpark doors.
"I don't want to be the one that brings down a season."
The Cardinals announced Sunday that infielder Elehuris Montero tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed in isolation awaiting the next step in the protocols. Montero is asymptomatic, an official said. The Cardinals have four other players with tests pending, including Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes, though the team won't confirm the names of the players.
Some of the players traveled together to St. Louis and that appears to be part of the delay when it comes to their test results.