What I hear: After 14 Marlins players and employees tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, MLB will move forward.
The Miami Marlins season was suspended by Major League Baseball amid an outbreak of COVID-19 cases, in which 15 players and two employees tested positive from Friday to Tuesday, the league announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The action is a great but pragmatic break, being on one of 30 MLB teams trying to play a 60-game schedule due to a pandemic, one of the potential outcomes is that the Marlins – and their future opponents – may not play the season in full.
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The Marlins outbreak has already led to several postponements to Monday and Tuesday: two Marlin games against the Baltimore Orioles in Miami, and two Phillies-New York Yankees games in Philadelphia, on Marlins’ Three Weekend Games.
The Marlins will now have up to seven games: four against the Orioles and three against the Washington Citizens, their opponents in Miami.
Meanwhile, more and more plays began to move to place teams that held back as many games as possible on the 66-day calendar.
The Yankees, who also played Monday in Philadelphia Monday, will now head south and play two games against the Orioles at Camden Yards on Wednesday and Thursday. That leaves Phyllis without an opponent until Friday, and with four games against the Yankees to make up.
Monday was a day off for the Marlins, Nationals and Phillies, while the Orioles and Yankees were to play in Baltimore. It is likely that the Marlins could use Monday to play a makeup game (or backup) against the Citizens or the Orioles, releasing the Phillies and Yankees to make up one or two of the four games postponed this week.
Of course, all this flexibility greatly contributes to the fact that the games are played without visiting fans, so that such key factors as the site and the opponent, almost do not contradict.
This is important because the Marlins may not have a home to return to.
Hours before the suspension of the Marlins season, National Capital players voted not to travel to Miami for the weekend games, expressing concern among players and manager Dave Martinez that he said he “went from eight to 12” the day before the Marlins outbreak.
This point now seems controversial, as the Marlins will not have a scheduled game until next Tuesday at home against the Phyllis, although they may use Monday’s day off as makeup.
It could be with a whole new team, in fact.
Fifteen Marlins will be postponed for a period of probably at least two weeks and probably longer, given the return times of more than 100 hundred MLB players who tested positive on COVID-19. Each player will have to test minus twice for more than 24 hours to return.
The Marlins’ positive test reportedly includes lead player Miguel Rojas, starting hunter Jorge Alfaro, pitcher Jose Uren, assigned striker Garrett Cooper and outfielder Harold Ramirez.
Miami Mayor Carlos Jimenez recommended at a news conference on Tuesday that all Marlin players be quarantined for 14 days after returning to South Florida, although the final authority may reside with Florida Gov. Ron Desantis.
One way or another, these Marlins will be a bit like the club that won two of the first three games of the year.
They will need to dive into their backup backup player; Under the MLB protocols, until the 2020 season, teams are allowed 60 players who are eligible to participate, and 27 people do not have a major league team headquartered on an alternative training ground.
Combining allegedly quarantined players from their alternate site with players who were near a common event in a major league club could be a recipe for disaster, as negative coronavirus tests are no guarantee that a person is infected.
It remains to be seen whether MLB and Marlins’ choice will be an aggressive but likely appropriate approach to quarantine the rest of the major league players for 10-14 days at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.