The Miami Marlins have put tonight’s home opener against the Baltimore Orioles on hold. Eleven of their players and two coaches tested positive for COVID-19. This comes just days after MLB returned from its stoppage.
All eyes look towards Commissioner Rob Manfred to see how he addresses the obstacle and if the season can move forward.
Updating the Miami Marlins’ outbreak: The total number of infected players is 11 of the 33 who have been traveling with the team and two coaches, sources tell ESPN.
The Marlins-Orioles and Yankees-Phillies games tonight have been postponed. For now, the rest may be played.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 27, 2020
ESPN’s Jeff Passan joined First Take to discuss how the outbreak could affect the Miami Marlins and MLB at large.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how Rob Manfred handles this today,” Passan said. “He has to come out and address this, and address this not just for the Miami Marlins, but for the sport writ large. In their 113-page operations manual that has all kinds of protocols in place, there is nothing in there that talks about how to handle a situation like this, where you have an outbreak.”
The Commissioner has the ability to pause or shut down the season entirely if the integrity of the game is threatened.
Marlins players are currently quarantined in Philidelphia, while they wait for additional COVID-19 tests to be taken. The true number of players that have been affected is to be determined.
“They are stuck in Philadelphia right now, not going to be at their home opener in Miami,” Passan said. “The question really is how long are they going to be there and how do they continue the season. Not just the Miami Marlins, but all of Major League Baseball.”
Need For New Precautions
An issue found this early in the season may be shining light on flaws in the system. New protocols should be put into place during the after-hours, explained ESPN’s Jessica Mendoza.
“When that red light goes off, we’re not able to see what these players are doing. That’s where the real questions come up. I think there needs to be more rules on what they’re doing away from the field,” Mendoza said.
— Ben Cafardo (@Ben_ESPN) July 27, 2020