Image c/o: Kevin C. Cox (Getty Images)
As soon as America’s favorite pastime was back for good after Covid-19, there were rumored season cancellations just four days after the launch of the MLB season.
The Miami Marlins had an unfortunate coronavirus outbreak that has the possibility of endangering the entire Major League Baseball season. Sixteen players and two coaches on the Marlins tested positive as of Tuesday night, however Owner and Commissioner Rob Manfred states they “expected players to test positive at one point in time.” The reality of the situation is that if an outbreak spreads across one team, the likelihood of the virus being transmitted to an opponent or opposing team is extremely high.
The protocol for MLB safety requires each player and staff member to be tested for COVID-19 every two days. The theory following this idea is that if a player or staff member was tested positive, they would detect it as soon as possible because of the frequent tests and put them right into isolation to prevent the spread. However, baseball players are free to leave their hotel or “bubble” and roam around any city they are placed in. These intentions alone can be a good disaster waiting to happen, especially in a hot spot city such as Miami.
Due to the Marlin outbreak, several games have been cancelled between the Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins and New York Yankees. Former Yankee and current CEO of the Marlins, Derek Jeter released a statement regarding the postponement of Monday night's game. He shared, “The health of our players and staff has been and will continue to be our primary focus as we navigate through these uncharted waters… 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.” However, what does this uncertainty mean for the Marlins moving forward?
Due to the immense number of players that tested positive on the team, the Marlins would have to replace more than half of their players and roster which puts them at a vast competitive disadvantage. In this event, there is nothing to do besides weigh out the option of adding new players, but needless to say time is ticking. If there is not a set roster of players who have tested negative by Sunday, it will result in suspension of their entire sixty game season. Fans would be incredibly frustrated and hurt, even more so than they already have been. However, the ongoing question still lingers; which minor league players will be given the opportunity to finally be pulled to the majors?
To make matters worse, the outbreak may have been caused by players going into towns and not following the proper precautions. Some teammates were rumored being caught on a night out in Atlanta. If this was or was not the cause of the outbreak,it has put the entire season on pause, cancelling all scheduled games for the Marlins through Sunday. These are just the latest updates.
Where does the MLB stand now?
With the current status of the players, and protocols in place, the future of the upcoming MLB season is still unclear. Fans across the country will be anxiously awaiting this Sunday to find out if Covid has put their favorite players on a hiatus.