MLB’s official take on the coronavirus outbreak within the Miami Marlins? It’s not a “nightmare.”
Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke publicly Monday night for the first time since the Marlins outbreak took over the baseball news cycle. He said MLB expected positive tests and believes the safety protocols the league has in place are adequate to keep players safe.
As relayed by Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, Manfred also reiterated there were no serious talks about pausing or canceling the season on a call with owners Monday.
On conference call with owners today, Manfred said there were no serious discussions about stopping the season: "We believe the protocols are adequate to keep our players safe."— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 27, 2020
Manfred: "I don't put this in the 'nightmare' category ... We built the protocols to allow us to continue to play."— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 27, 2020
This follows news that 13 members of the Marlins had tested positive for coronavirus, which led to the postponement of their Monday game against the Orioles in Miami. The Phillies, who just hosted the Marlins, also had their Monday game postponed against the Yankees while they await test results.
Asked what MLB would consider grave enough to consider pausing a team’s season, Manfred said: “A team losing a number of players that rendered it completely non-competitive.”
Save your Marlins jokes. They do have enough players from their taxi squad to field a team, as long as there’s not a large swath of positive tests coming. If that’s the case, Manfred announced on MLB Network that the Marlins could play in Baltimore on Wednesday, rather than hosting the Orioles in Miami. That would be the third game of the scheduled three-game series.
Here’s a portion where Manfred talks about the scheduling:
Commissioner Manfred sits down with Tom Verducci in Studio 21.— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 27, 2020
Tune in to MLB Tonight after the game for the full interview. pic.twitter.com/WnZx8q5U8q
This figures to be only MLB’s first test with coronavirus, with more positive tests coming as the country grapples with the virus.
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