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Marlins season suspended; MLB scrambles to reschedule

Miami Marlins 2019MLB has suspended the 2020 Miami Marlins season after four more players tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, leaving officials scrambling to reschedule games.

As of now 15 players–half the 30-man roster–and two coaches have tested positive for coronavirus, with Marlins games canceled through Sunday. The positive tests are expected to sideline players for at least a week, ass they must test negative twice in a span of more than 24 hours for a return. The suspension also interrupts the Philadelphia Phillies season, as the remainder of the home-and-home series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees has been postponed (besides last night’s Citizens Bank Field field being canceled, so will the next three Yankees/Phillies games, including two set for Yankee Stadium). The Yankees will now play the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park Yards on Wednesday and Thursday. Additional rescheduling of the suspended Marlins games during the week of August 3rd will be announced later this week by MLB officials, which is good news for the Washington Nationals players who had voted to bypass an upcoming weekend series agains the Marlins in Miami.

The next scheduled game for the Marlins is an Aug. 4 home match against the Phillies, following an Aug. 3 open date that could conceivably be pressed into service as a game day.

The big question: why can’t the Marlins just call up players from the alternate training site and pressed into action? Apparently MLB did not want to see healthy players thrown into a mix with possibly infected players–remember, there are false negatives as well as false positives–and run the risk of spreading the infection further.

According to MLB, the response outlined in the joint MLB-MLBPA Operations Manual was triggered immediately upon learning of the cluster of positive cases, including contact tracing and the quarantining and testing of all of the identified close contacts. The Marlins’ personnel who tested positive remain in isolation and are receiving care.

MLB officials are obviously hoping the Marlins situation is an isolated one. As of now, in over 6,400 tests conducted since July 24, there have been no new positives of on-field personnel from any of the other 29 teams.

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