Another game has been dropped from tonight’s schedule, as the New York Yankees/Philadelphia Phillies game is postponed after a COVID-19 outbreak among Marlins players visiting Citizens Bank Park over the weekend.
The Yankees/Phillies game was not canceled due to positive test cases among players for either team, but rather due to safety concerns about Citizens Bank Park, which will presumably undergo a deep cleaning now that the Marlins have departed. Depending on the source, between 11 and 12 Marlins tested positive for the COVID-19 virus over the weekend, as well as did two coaches. Per MLB’s COVID-19 mitigation protocols, the Marlins team will be quarantined in Philadelphia while further testing is performed, though there is the chance that players posting negative results will be transported separately to Miami. After a positive test players can’t travel or access ballpark facilities until they register two negative tests 24 hours or more apart, show no symptoms like fever for 72 hours, be subjected to an antibody test and, finally, be cleared by the team doctor and an MLB COVID-19 official.
Tonight’s Yankees/Phillies was set to be the first game of a home-and-away series, with two game in Philly and two games in the Bronx.
Three games in and we have seen two game cancelations/postponements, and there likely will be more related to this outbreak, as MLB and the Marlins work on another round of testing in an effort to begin players to Miami. where the Orioles are currently waiting. A complicating factor is the crazy schedule put together by MLB officials, comprised of two-game series. In this case, we have the Orioles and Marlins scheduled for Monday-Tuesday games in Miami and Wednesday-Thursday games in Baltimore. With additional testing set for the Marlins, do you fly “healthy” players for one game and then turn around and send them to Baltimore? Do you schedule a deep cleaning of Citizens Bank Park and just send everyone to Yankee Stadium in the meantime? And if the game is postponed vs. canceled, when do you play it? The Phillies and Yankees are not scheduled to meet after this week’s home-and-away series. We know this is a largely improvised season, but the number of logistical decisions to be made in a relatively short amount of time is just staggering.
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