As baseball season gets underway — thanks to new coronavirus restrictions — at least one team is already sitting it out.
Opening day looked very strange this season. There were no roaring fans in the stadiums and baseball players in the dugout wore masks. But there’s no denying that the start of the baseball season is bringing a bit of normalcy to fans sitting at home. For fans in Miami, however, they’ll have to wait just a little longer. The Miami Marlins’ game against the Baltimore Orioles, scheduled for tonight, has been canceled due to a COVID-19 breakout within the team.
According to ESPN, at least eight players and two coaches of the Miami Marlins have reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus. The Miami Marlins now have a total of 14 cases on the team.
While it’s unclear how the players were infected, ESPN reports that the Marlins played an exhibition game last week in Atlanta against the Braves. The Marlins also played the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Marlins knew they had coronavirus cases on the team yesterday morning, yet proceeded with the game as usual.
It’s critical to point out that COVID-19 cases have surged dramatically in Florida. NPR reported that Florida now has more COVID-19 cases than New York. The latest figures out of Florida show that, as of Monday morning, there are at least 423,800 cases and 5,853 deaths.
Here’s the official statement from the MLB: “Tonight’s scheduled games between the Miami Marlins and the Baltimore Orioles at Marlins Park and the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees at Citizens Bank Park have been postponed while Major League Baseball conducts additional COVID-19 testing. The members of the Marlins’ traveling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcome of those results. Major League Baseball has been coordinating with the Major League Baseball Players Association; the Marlins; the Orioles; the Marlins’ weekend opponent, the Phillies; and Club medical staffs, and will continue to provide updates as appropriate.”
On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals launched their season and played against the Pittsburgh Pirates throughout the weekend. Some fans on social media pointed out the differences between the Cardinals and the Marlins when it came to enforcing the new coronavirus guidelines.
For the Cardinals, at least, having a successful season in a pandemic will mean holding their teammates accountable for their behavior. There is just no room for error, Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright told the station KSDK.
READ MORE: Trump Has Deliberately Targeted Immigrants During the Pandemic. These 13 Policies Prove It.
“The message from Yadier [Molina] and myself and others was that, ‘Listen if we see you stepping out of line, we’re going to let you know about it really quick.’ There is no room for selfishness right now,” Wainwright said. “Everything has to go just perfect for us to play. There’s a lot at stake, people who have a lot riding on what we are doing right now,” he added. “For three months, we need everybody to be good soldiers.”
The Marlins are not the only ones with confirmed coronavirus cases. CBS Sports reported that almost every team in the MLB has had instances of COVID-19. Some of those teams include the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Texas Rangers, and the Washington Nationals.