The Miami Marlins season was postponed until Monday, August 3rd following 17 positive COVID-19 tests among players and coaches. As the first team in any sport to report an outbreak, the Marlins will become the test case on how leagues and teams will respond going forward.
How the Marlins got here
The Marlins wrapped up Major League Baseball Summer Camp July 22nd in Atlanta. They began the regular season on Friday after traveling to Philadelphia. According to reports, the team was aware of positive test results prior to Sunday’s game. The team decided via group text to continue playing the series.
After winning two of three games over the Phillies, the league postponed the Marlins home opening series against the Baltimore Orioles. That series was to begin Monday in Miami.
As of Wednesday, the team remained in Philadelphia isolating and quarantining.
“We have moved to a daily testing schedule while we isolate and quarantine appropriately, along with enacting additional preventive procedures with our traveling party. We look forward to safely returning to Miami where we conducted a successful and healthy Spring 2.0 before departing on the road and experiencing challenges. For the time being, we will remain in Philadelphia and gather information in order to make informed decisions and prepare for our return to action next week.” Marlins CEO Derek Jeter explained.
How the Marlins outbreak affects others
News of the outbreak lead to immediate action for prior and future opponents of the Marlins. The Philadelphia Phillies four-game series vs. the New York Yankees was also postponed. Pending test results, the Phillies will resume their season Friday against the Blue Jays.
The Yankees will now face the Baltimore Orioles in an essential replacement series of Phillies and Marlins opponents. The Washington Nationals, the Marlins opponent this coming weekend, will have the days off.
How the Marlins will get back on track
Long story short, they may never.
According to Major League Baseball, each player needs two negative tests in more than 24 hours to return.
Because of the shortened season, if the Marlins return Monday, they’ll have 56 days to play their remaining 57 games. The mayor of Miami is recommending the entire team quarantine for 14 days upon returning to the city.
Major League Baseball Commissioner, Rob Manfred, describes the scenario as “not a positive thing, but I don’t see it as a nightmare.”
In reality, it could be just that. Opposing teams have already expressed fear of traveling to Miami to play against the Marlins later this season.