Two MLB games suspended after 14 Miami Marlins players and staff test positive for COVID-19

Major league baseball has been impacted by the virus early in its season

Jesus Aguilar #24, Brian Anderson #15, Francisco Cervelli #29, and Corey Dickerson #23 of the Miami Marlins react after a three run home run by Anderson in the top of the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 26, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Marlins defeated the Phillies 11-6. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The major league baseball season is off to a rough start after a reported 14 players and staff have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, multiple outlets are reporting.

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The test results were revealed after the team played three weekend games at a spectator-less Citizens Bank in Philadelphia. The Marlins knew before the last game of the series that four players had tested positive but the game went on.

Because of the tests, MLB has postponed two games – The Miami Marlins season home opener vs. the Baltimore Orioles as well as the Philadelphia Phillies next home game against the New York Yankees.

“The health of our players and staff has been and will continue to be our primary focus as we navigate through these unchartered waters,” Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said in a statement to the media.

“After a successful Spring 2.0, we have now experienced challenges once we went on the road and left Miami. 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.”

The official word from major league baseball is that the affected players and staff are self-quarantining in place and that they will be coordinating with the teams and their medical staff to determine the next course of action, reported ESPN.

According to Philly.com, 13 players are in self-quarantine at the city’s Rittenhouse Hotel, which also contains a separate condominium. Those players will be tested daily and the condominium residents have been reassured the affected players are at no risk of affecting them.

As MLB has elected to play the season without isolating players in a “bubble” as the NBA has done to protect player health and reduce their risk to the outside world and vice versa, it begs the question is the season viable if positive tests continue?

Miami Marlins coronavirus major league baseball thegrio.com
The Phillie Phanatic sits alone in the stands during a game between the Miami Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 25, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 2020 season had been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

And, how do baseball’s issues impact the NFL, which already has the most players and staff of all four major leagues and is expected to expand their normal rosters due to the virus? The NFL has also elected to play outside of a bubble, though daily COVID-19 testing will be instituted.

“When we know whether the Marlins can keep playing, we’ll know a lot more about the viability of continuing the season, ” ESPN major league baseball writer Bradford Doolittle said in a roundup of experts for the outlet.

“Because what is already a 13-person outbreak is the exact kind of situation MLB’s system of protocols was designed to prevent, insofar as anything related to COVID-19 is preventable.”

Doolittle added, “It’s also important that MLB be transparent with the decisions it makes in reaction to this situation. If the medical experts tell them it’s simply too dangerous for the Marlins to keep going, then baseball’s newest moment of truth will be at hand. “

Read More: 95 NFL players test positive for COVID-19

Major league baseball agreed on a 60 game season that started last Friday. Less than half of its normal 162 game season are to be played at 30 stadiums, excluding the venue where the Toronto Blue Jays play as Canada would not allow the league to play games there.

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