(Tribune News Service) -- Four days into what was supposed to be a nine-week season, a coronavirus outbreak among the Miami Marlins has forced Major League Baseball to consider whether to pause the season for one team, or perhaps for all.
With multiple media sources reporting that 12 players and two coaches on the Marlins tested positive for the virus within the past two days, the league has postponed the Marlins’ home opener, scheduled for Monday night.
The league also has postponed the scheduled game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees in Philadelphia, where the Marlins played on Sunday, according to The Athletic. The facilities the Marlins used in Philadelphia need to be disinfected, and the Phillies personnel that worked the weekend series need to be tested.
The Marlins remain in Philadelphia, where their scheduled charter flight to Florida was postponed Sunday night and canceled Monday. Four Miami players were unavailable Sunday after testing positive, including the Marlins’ starting pitcher. The game proceeded, but in accordance with the league’s health and safety protocol, testing was expedited for all other players.
In a July 2 interview, commissioner Rob Manfred told radio host Dan Patrick that the league would have to consider whether to continue operating in the face of an outbreak.
“I think the way that I think about it, Dan, is in the vein of competitive integrity, in a 60-game season,” Manfred said. “If we have a team or two that’s really decimated with a number of people who had the virus and can’t play for any significant period of time, it could have a real impact on the competition, and we’d have to think very, very hard about what we’re doing.”
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