Earlier this morning, news broke that the Miami Marlins were the center of a coronavirus outbreak within baseball. Four players tested positive over the weekend, and eight more tested positive today, along with a pair of coaches. Miami’s home opener against the Orioles was postponed, and now, the Yankees game with the Phillies has been postponed as well.
This stems from the fact that the Phillies played the Marlins just yesterday, and the Phillies are now presumably undergoing rounds of testing. We are now basically in the same position we were in mid-March, when the coronavirus was spreading in the United States but sports continued to play while onlookers questioned how long the show could go on.
There’s no telling exactly where the league will go from here. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal emphasizes that the game is postponed:
Postponed is the proper word, for now. https://t.co/t3fr48UJS7— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2020
Very early indications are that this game is not cancelled, it just definitely won’t be played today. Other reports suggest that games around the league will go on as scheduled even as four team sit out due to an outbreak:
The Phillies organization becomes a hugely important factor now in where things go from here. Test results on personnel likely will be known this evening. I believe other games scheduled for tonight will be played.— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) July 27, 2020
Ravich duly notes that much hinges on the Phillies testing results. Those results surely are important, and hopefully every member of the team is safe. But the Marlins were tested frequently before this weekend too. The fact of the matter is that this virus is spreading in many parts of the country, and that any player could fall ill after being exposed in his community, even with safety protocols in place. Maybe the Phillies test negative, but that doesn’t stop another player on another team getting infected and bringing that infection into a team clubhouse, risking another super-spreader event like the Marlins.
All we know for sure right now is that the Yankees won’t play tonight. What unfolds next remains to be seen. This is a fast developing story, and we’ll keep you updated as more details come to light.