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MLB puts Miami Marlins season on pause after COVID-19 outbreak within team

Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Not even a week into MLB’s 2020 revised season, an entire team has been forced to shut down.

After as many as 15 players and two staff members within the Miami Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus, the franchise’s season has been put on hold. The positive tests came within a five-day span and they’ll be shut down through at least Sunday.

“The health and safety protocols were designed with a challenging circumstance like the one facing the Marlins in mind,” MLB said in a statement. “The response outlined in the joint MLB-MLBPA Operations Manual was triggered immediately upon learning of the cluster of positive cases, including contact tracing and the quarantining and testing of all of the identified close contacts. The Marlins’ personnel who tested positive remain in isolation and are receiving care.”

The positive tests have resulted in several postponements of games that included the Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, and Baltimore Orioles. Miami’s season–which remember, is only 60 games this season–is on pause until Aug. 3. The Marlins will now have to make these games up at a later date and MLB has been forced to revise the schedule for the Phillies, Yankees, and Orioles.

The Marlins were scheduled to play against the Washington Nationals later this week in a three-game series down in Florida. According to a report by The Athletic, a majority of the Nats players have elected to not go down for safety reasons. Commissioner Rob Manfred will now have to decide if he wants to force players who feel unsafe to go down to a virus hotspot or postpone even more games.

The league is also reportedly considering letting teams finish below the 60-game mark if it becomes too difficult to sneak in the postponed games.

Marlins players were reportedly being tested every other day instead of daily. Other sports leagues such as the NBA, WNBA, and MLS have established protected ” bubble” concepts–in Florida–that have required daily testing of the virus from the jump and still do. Neither has yet to encounter a positive test within its respective bubble. Marlins CEO Derek Jeter announced earlier on Tuesday--well after the positive tests began to come back–that Miami would now go through daily testing.

We have moved to a daily testing schedule while we isolate and quarantine appropriately, along with enacting additional preventive procedures with our traveling party,” Jeter said in a press release. “We look forward to safely returning to Miami where we conducted a successful and healthy Spring 2.0 before departing on the road and experiencing challenges. For the time being, we will remain in Philadelphia and gather information in order to make informed decisions and prepare for our return to action next week.

Through Opening Day, MLB said they had just a 0.3 percent positive case rate out of over 32,000 administered tests. However, now that teams are constantly going to be traveling from state to state, controlling outbreaks is going to be a much more difficult task than what the NBA, WNBA, and MLS are dealing with.

Even with the outbreak, the people in charge do not plan on canceling the season.

According to a report by CNN, the Marlins apparently made it known to both the league and Phillies that they had confirmed positives tests with the team. Both teams decided to play, anyways, and it was approved by MLB.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

3 Comments for MLB puts Miami Marlins season on pause after COVID-19 outbreak within team

  1. Lip Man 1
    9:45 pm July 28, 2020 Permalink

    Unbelievable. Manfred (aka The Idiot) and the owners have made it clear NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING is going to stop this bastardized, bizarre season because (all together now!) WE NEED THE MONEY, WE WANT THE MONEY (as in the post season TV money).

    Guys can be put at risk, careers can be damaged, support staff and people not making millions can be put at risk because (all together now!) WE WANT THE MONEY.

    This in a business that ONLY makes 10 BILLION friggin’ dollars a year.

    Words fail me. if there is any justice in all this Manfred and some of these owners are going to get sick.

    • PensacolaCat
      11:47 pm July 28, 2020 Permalink

      There is no risk to the players. Why are you freaking out? Sheesh.

  2. BigBlueFoo42777
    9:55 pm July 28, 2020 Permalink

    Yea because feeling bad for a few days then feeling fine is really going to show them