Despite a COVID-19 outbreak involving 17 Miami Marlins team and staff members, the MLB is pressing on with their season. This is good news for fans that were wondering if this hiccup would cause a pause or cancellation of future games.
Instead of going that route, the MLB has decided to buckle down on health and safety measures to include requiring players to wear masks or facial coverings in the clubhouse and to reinforce on-field behavior prohibitions against gestures such as high fives.
“The health and safety protocols were designed with a challenging set of circumstances like the one facing the Marlins in mind,” the MLB said in a statement. “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 MLB also revised the season schedule to account for a period of self-isolation for the Marlins and Phillies. The remainder of the home-and-home series between the Phillies and Yankees is being postponed.
As a result, the Yankees will now play the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Wednesday and Thursday to create more scheduling flexibility later in the season. The Marlins won’t play again until Monday, August 3rd.
“MLB believes it is most prudent to allow the Marlins time to focus on providing care for their players and planning their baseball operations for a resumption early next week,” the league announced.
The Marlins were scheduled to play a three-day series against the Washington Nationals this weekend. The Nationals will now forgo these games and make them up at a later time.
While all the changes may be inconvenient, the MLB seems to be going with a strategy to refine the schedule as needed instead of pausing or cancelling the season all together.
The MLB’s full statement on the path forward is below.