MLB suspends Marlins’ season through weekend amid outbreak

MLB suspends Marlins’ season through weekend amid outbreak

MIAMI — Major League Baseball suspended the Miami Marlins’ season through Sunday, and the Philadelphia Phillies will remain idled by the coronavirus pandemic until Friday, while the rest of baseball forges ahead with trepidation.

“There’s real fear, there’s real anxiety for me, for all my teammates,” Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun said Tuesday. “I think we’ve found it very difficult to focus on baseball at all the last couple of days.”

In the wake of a virus outbreak that infected half the Marlins’ team, Braun said MLB players are constantly assessing whether they should keep playing. Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said the season could be in jeopardy.

But MLB came up with a patchwork schedule for the rest of this week and said that among more than 6,400 tests conducted since Friday, there were no new positives involving on-field personnel from any team other than the Marlins.

In a statement, MLB said it wanted to allow the Marlins time to focus on providing care for their players and to plan for a resumption of play early next week. MLB also postponed the three remaining games in this week’s Phillies-New York Yankees series.

The Marlins remained stranded in Philadelphia, where they played last weekend. The Phillies-Yankees games were postponed “out of an abundance of caution,” MLB said, although no Phillies players have tested positive.

The Marlins received positive test results for four additional players, bringing their total to 15, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person declined to be identified because the results had not been publicly released.

Nine players on the 30-man roster, two taxi squad players and two staff members tested positive earlier.

The Marlins had been scheduled to play at Baltimore on Wednesday and Thursday. Instead, the Yankees will play at Baltimore on those days.

Miami’s three home games this weekend against Washington were postponed. Nationals players had voted against making the trip, manager Dave Martinez said.

“We all decided that it was probably unsafe to go there,” Martinez said. “It had nothing to do with the Miami Marlins. It was all about Miami and the state of Florida, this pandemic. They didn’t feel safe.”

The Marlins underwent another round of tests Tuesday, as their outbreak raised anew questions about baseball’s attempts to conduct a season.

“This could put it in danger,” Fauci said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I don’t believe they need to stop, but we just need to follow this and see what happens with other teams on a day-by-day basis.”

His comments came before word of the Marlins’ latest test results.

“Major League Baseball — the players, the owners, the managers — have put a lot of effort into getting together and putting protocols that we feel would work,” Fauci said. “It’s very unfortunate what happened with the Miami (Marlins).”

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, speaking to reporters in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, expressed reservations about sports such as baseball and football being played during the pandemic, especially in the wake of the Marlins’ wave of infections.

“It seems to me that when you have to travel, when you have to be in a hotel room and places that are different than you’ve been the day before, when you are in a position where you’re walking, going into an area where there is a high concentration of spread of COVID, all those things add up to a real problem,” Biden said, “and we’re not going to really overcome that until we follow science and get a vaccine.”

In Cleveland, Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria returned to the team Tuesday after awakening with some COVID-19 symptoms a day earlier and being isolated for 24 hours.

And everyone across baseball seemed to be feeling uneasy.

“It’s important that we are able to provide a source of entertainment and an outlet for people who are dealing with such a challenging time in their lives,” Braun said. “But at the same time, the health and safety should be the top priority for all of us at all times. …

“You think about all the hotel employees, bus drivers, pilots, flight attendants, anybody else all the Marlins guys might have come into contact with, and it’s obviously scary.”

The Marlins planned to remain in Philadelphia until at least Wednesday. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health said it was working with the Marlins and Phillies on contact tracing to contain the spread of the virus.

“All of our players, coaches and staff are, understandably, having a difficult time enduring this experience,” Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said.

Additional MLB rescheduling during the week of Aug. 3 will be announced later this week. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered up his state to any team needing a place to play.

While baseball deals with its logistical challenges, the NBA and NHL are resuming their seasons in bubble environments, with basketball at Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and hockey at Edmonton, Alberta, and Toronto.

The NFL has opted not to create a bubble environment as training camps open this week.

“It might be that they have to go in a bubble,” Fauci said, “but I think they’re conscientious enough and want to protect their players and protect the personnel that they will do the right thing.”

___

AP Sports Writers Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia, Steve Megargee in Milwaukee, Jake Seiner in New York and Tom Withers in Cleveland and Associated Press Writers Darlene Superville in Washington and Will Weissert in Wilmington, Delaware, contributed to this report.

___

Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Steve_Wine

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Steven Wine, The Associated Press

Baseball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Alisha Bryan holds a handful of poppy sticks at the poppy laying ceremony on Oct. 28. (Alannah Page/Lacombe Express)
Remembrance Day will look a little different this year for Lacombe

The Lacombe Legion is taking COVID-19 precautions for people who want to pay their respects.

Chad Carlson (left) Jarita Carlson and their two children Milo Carlson (left) and Lennon Carlson are dressing up as Ghostbusters for Halloween. (Alannah Page/Lacombe Express)
Lacombe family passionate about Halloween and giving back to their community

COVID-19 has changed how the Carlson’s will celebrate Halloween this year

The Lacombe Legion volunteers laid poppies beside the graves of veterans on Oct. 28. (Alannah Page/Lacombe Express)
Lacombe Legion volunteers lay poppies for fallen veterans

Twenty volunteers showed up on Wednesday to pay their respects and help out

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo by The Associated Press)
Alberta records 410 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read