Only after three days of return, Major League Baseball is in an urgent crisis after a number of players and coaches in the Miami Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus. The league has postponed two games scheduled for Monday, the Marlins against the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees against the Phillies.
Coronavirus outbreak – Miami Marlins
The Marlins have at least 14 players and staff members who have tested positive for the coronavirus. They decided to cancel their flight home from Philadelphia after playing a three-game series due to concerns about the outbreak.
The series’ matches against the Orioles will be postponed to Wednesday and Thursday. The Marlins will go straight from Philadelphia to Baltimore, and those in quarantine will not be traveling.
The number of positive cases jumped from four to 14 in a single day, and the seriousness led the team to self-quarantine and undergo more testing while the matches against the Orioles are postponed.
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said in a statement, “Postponing tonight’s home opener was the correct decision to ensure we take a collective pause and try to properly grasp the totality of this situation. We have conducted another round of testing for our players and staff, and our team will all remain in Philadelphia pending results of those tests, which we expect later today.”
Before Monday morning, when they found out more people were infected by the virus, four of the players in the team have already tested positive, and their plan was to have the team members who tested negative to travel to Miami to play the home opener. However, after the news broke out that it was a significant amount of positive tests, the game was immediately canceled.
The Marlins won two of the three games in their opening weekend series against Philadelphia.
Phillies-Yankees Game Postponed
Citizen Bank Park, the Phillies ballpark, is one of the last places that the entire baseball team was together prior to the positive results of coronavirus. The stadium is being disinfected, and the Yankees will bring their own clubhouse staff to the ballpark.
Playing on Monday will involve significant risk for all the players, especially the Yankees, as they will be using the clubhouse of those who were likely to be exposed to coronavirus through the Marlins. Hence, they have postponed the Phillies vs. Yankees game as well.
What will happen to the season?
The outbreak has raised the question of whether the season should continue or not. These developments are not surprising to some people. A group of players, including several high-profile players, criticized MLB’s weak coronavirus protocols and opted out of participation in the season.
The spread of the coronavirus in MLB will also affect the NFL season as well as the NCAA. Both are planning to come back and play in the fall using the same approach as MLB. However, the incident has strongly lowered the chance of them happening this fall.
NBA and MLS have created a bubble for the players and a restriction. NBA previously announced that there were no positive results of the coronavirus among the people inside the bubble.