Marlins-Orioles, Phillies-Yankees Postponed Amidst COVID-19 Outbreakby Sam Schneider July 27, 2020 0 comments
As of Monday morning, the Miami Marlins are experiencing an extended stay in Philadelphia, and their home opener tonight against the Baltimore Orioles has been canceled.
The number of positive cases among players and coaches in less than a week has reached 14 (or more) with infectious disease experts calling it a “clear outbreak” and saying that after an initial four positive tests, the team should not have even been allowed to play Sunday’s game. Since then, there have been an additional 10 confirmed positives.
The Phillies, who hosted Miami over the weekend, have put attendants of the visiting clubhouse staff on mandatory quarantine after exposure to the Marlins’ players and staff. Their series against the New York Yankees was set to begin on Monday, but the first game of the four-game set was postponed. The series is now scheduled to begin Tuesday.
The Yankees brought their own clubhouse staff with them.
The Marlins had four confirmed positive tests on Sunday, including pitcher Jose Urena, who had been scheduled to start but was scratched before game time.
On Monday morning came news that an additional eight players and two coaches also were infected. Due to patient privacy rules, players’ names are not immediately disclosed but ahead of Monday’s update, four players agreed to be identified, including Urena, Jorge Alfaro, Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramirez. More names are expected to be released upon players’ consent.
According to The Athletic’s Jayson Stark, leading infectious disease expert Dr. John Swartzberg told him, “If I were the Phillies’ owner, I might test every day for two weeks.”
This quote didn't make the story. But Dr. John Swartzberg, one of America's leading infectious-disease specialists, told me yesterday:
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 27, 2020
This first two game cancellations raise serious questions about MLB’s ability to get adequate turnaround in their testing. Currently, most tests are delivered to the facility in Utah, and the entire process can take 16 to 24 hours (or more) for results to be reported, meaning players that are infected can be transferring the virus to others in the meantime.
It also casts serious doubts as to the viability of finishing a season and are being watched closely by other organizations like the NFL, who opens training camps this week.
As for the Marlins, they continue their desire to accept the risk and keep playing for now.
#Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas said all 30 players "got together as a team" this morning after learning multiple players would be out.
He said their feeling as a group was: "We made the decision that we want to continue to do this and continue to be responsible."
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 26, 2020