Marlins Games Postponed Through Sunday
Coronavirus has already caused chaos just a few days into the season. Let’s untangle the mess of postponed/rescheduled games, shall we?
Yesterday, it was announced that the Marlins have had a fairly large outbreak of Covid-19 in their clubhouse, and their home opener against the Orioles had been postponed. Three more positive tests have cropped up since yesterday’s announcement, bringing the current total of positive tests to seventeen within the Marlins traveling party. The Nationals were scheduled to play three games in Miami starting Friday, and as a team they’ve voted not to play there at this time. As a result of the positive cases and the Nationals saying a big fat hell no, MLB is postponing all Marlins games through Sunday (at least).
The postponements don’t stop with the Marlins, either. They were playing in Philadelphia at the time that these positive test results started pouring in, and the Yankees refused to set foot into the visitor’s clubhouse yesterday for their scheduled game against the Phillies yesterday. As the Phillies are now anxiously awaiting to find out if they’ve been exposed/infected, their games are now postponed through at least Thursday. (As of the publication of this article, the Phillies team and staff have tested negative since their exposure.)
The impact on the already extremely tight schedules
With four teams impacted by these postponements (Marlins, Orioles, Phillies, Yankees) and just a few games into an attempt at a 60-game season, this throws quite a wrench in an already jam-packed 66 days. To try to ease some of the logistical nightmare of double headers and schedule problems down the road, the Yankees will now be heading to Baltimore for a two game series. There has yet to be an announcement regarding any other schedule changes/rescheduling while the Phillies and Marlins await some good news.
The MLB Health and Safety Protocol is already failing
Remember when the Nationals’ Juan Soto received a positive Covid test last Thursday? And remember how he had been tested two days prior, just hours before playing against the Orioles in a scrimmage? There has yet to be any word on if the Orioles (or any of Soto’s teammates) were infected during interactions with Soto, but symptoms and positive tests can take days to pop up. But now we have to think about the what-ifs: What if when the Orioles were exposed to Juan Soto, a couple of their players ended up being infected? What if the Orioles are about to get hit with a Marlins-esque outbreak? And what if the yet-to-test-positive Orioles players exposed and infected the Red Sox during their games Opening Weekend? And what if the Red Sox are now exposing/infecting the Mets as they start their series?
Yes, this could be a lot of worry over some what ifs that could never come to fruition. But the AL and NL East teams might be about to get hit with a Covid tsunami that would immediately shut down the shortened season.
One *cough cough Rob Manfred cough* might argue that this won’t be an issue because MLB issued a 101-page health and safety protocol. However, just by watching a few games this weekend, one would have seen quite a few high fives, spitting, and other no-no’s second nature to players.
Just take a look at this homer today by White Sox player Tim Anderson – you can see him spit as he rounds the bases:
Or the fist bumps and high fives after Luis Robert hit a home run on Sunday:
Now, I’m not looking to pick on the White Sox, I just happened to catch these protocol breaches as I was watching games, and they were high-fiving all over the dugout and spitting along the base path quite often this weekend. I also want to point out that the Sox manager Rick Renteria woke up Monday with a cough and nasal congestion. He’s been cleared to rejoin the team, but what if he tests positive in the next couple of days and his high-fiving, fist bumping, and spitting team have an outbreak of their own?
SOME rules are still being followed
There have been some examples of following the rules as well, like these air fives with Pete Alonso and some of his fellow Mets after his bomb yesterday:
Though one of the best examples of following protocol thus far would be Pirates Manager Derek Shelton arguing with the home plate ump Jordan Baker. Baker masked up as he saw Shelton heading his way and the two kept a distance during the skirmish:
Manager & umpire arguments in 2020 👀
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 26, 2020
Fans and players alike are really hoping that the Marlins outbreak will be isolated and not derail this long awaited season. Hopefully teams crack down on the protocol breaches – like going places they shouldn’t be or the deeply engrained in their DNA high-fives – to keep this season (and players!) alive.