As the Miami Marlins deal with a coronavirus outbreak in their own clubhouse, questions have been raised about how several players contracted the virus even with MLB’s rigorous protocols and guidelines.
One MLB insider theorized Tuesday that a few members of the Marlins went out while the team was in Atlanta to play the Braves for a two-game exhibition series before the start of the season.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale told Radio.com that some guys may have gotten “careless” and that “at least one guy did for sure.”
The Marlins’ season was put on hold Tuesday after several players and staff members contracted the coronavirus. At least four players had tested positive for the virus on Sunday before their game against the Philadelphia Phillies. The positive tests spiraled from there.
“All of our players, coaches and staff are, understandably, having a difficult time enduring this experience,” Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said in a statement.
The league announced that Marlins games would be postponed through Sunday. MLB also said that games between the Phillies and New York Yankees would be postponed as well. The Yankees would start a home-and-home series on Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles.
"The health and safety protocols were designed with a challenging circumstance like the one facing the Marlins in mind. 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 said in a statement.
"In over 6,400 tests conducted since Friday, July 24th, there have been no new positives of on-field personnel from any of the other 29 Clubs. This outcome is in line with encouraging overall data since the June 27th start of testing. Through last Thursday, July 23rd, 99 of the 32,640 samples – 0.3 percent – had been positive.
"The difficult circumstances of one Club reinforce the vital need to be diligent with the protocols in all ways, both on and off the field. We will continue to bolster our protocols and make any necessary adjustments. The realities of the virus still loom large, and we must operate with that in mind every day. We are confident that Clubs and players will act appropriately, for themselves and for others, and the data provides reason to believe that the protocols can work effectively."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.