NEW YORK, NY – We are just a week into the shortened 2020 MLB season and things are already coming off the rails. The Miami Marlins have had 17 players and 2 staff members test positive for COVID since opening day. Now the Phillies, Yankees, and Orioles have had their seasons disrupted because of the Miami Outbreak.
The Marlins opened the season against the Phillies who were then scheduled to host the Yankees. Once news of the Miami Outbreak – came out (Jeff Goldblum signed to star in the Outbreak sequel), the Yanks-Phils series was postponed as was the Orioles-Marlins series. The MLB for their part rearranged the schedule so that the Yankees and Orioles played a midweek series rather than sit around while the Marlins and Phillies were sequestered.
It is rumored that the Miami Outbreak stemmed from one or more players leaving the team hotel for a night out in Atlanta after the Marlins and Braves played an exhibition game last week. Now the team is scrambling to add on free agents and call up prospects in the hopes of filling out their roster while the rest of the team is sidelined. Their weekend series against the Nationals has been postponed and the earliest the Marlins could resume play is Monday, August 3rd.
While the Phillies currently do not have any positive tests among their players, a clubhouse staffer and member of the coaching staff have tested positive. Their weekend series against the Blue Jays is now on ice. It’s all adding to a scheduling headache for Major League Baseball as the number of teams affected by the Marlins outbreak continues to grow.
There will be a lot of games to make up and the Marlins will definitely have to continue without a number of key players next week. The team wasn’t lighting up the power rankings before the outbreak and filling out the team from the scrap bin won’t help their cause.
MLB has acted quickly and has been as flexible as possible to keep the season on track. It is good that the COVID outbreak is mostly limited to one team. This situation is showing how quickly one or two bad actors can undo months of thorough planning. Hopefully this is a wake-up call to any player or team staff member who was planning on a night out on the town. Another outbreak like this could derail baseball for good.
While baseball is dealing with their COVID issues, the NBA and NHL are resuming their 2020 seasons, but in more limited capacities. The NBA started their bubble tournament last night and today there are six games at the Disney compound. So far so good with the NBA bubble as there were no reported positive tests. If the NBA can keep the players and staff from wandering off and getting into trouble outside of the bubble, then they will have success.
The league placed Lou Williams in quarantine after he visited a strip club in Atlanta while on leave from the bubble. It’s the right call for the league whether or not they believe that Williams was just there to pick up food. They have to be vigilant and consistent with the protocols to have success.
The NHL resumes their 2020 season tomorrow with their expanded Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Eastern Conference games will be held in Toronto, while the Western Conference tournament will be held in Edmonton. Our neighbor to the north has very few new COVID cases and the NHL was wise to move the playoff hubs to Canada. The Rangers start their cup run tomorrow at noon when they take on the Hurricanes in a best-of-five qualifying series. The Islanders play the Panthers later in the afternoon.
It’s great to have sports back. Hopefully everyone behaves themselves and all of the sports can finish their seasons during this pandemic.