Wednesday May 5th, 2021 11:01PM

At least 3 MLB games postponed amid Marlins' virus outbreak

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MIAMI (AP) — The Marlins scrambled for roster replacements as they coped with a coronavirus outbreak. The New York Yankees had an unscheduled day off in Philadelphia while the home team underwent COVID-19 tests. The Baltimore Orioles were flying home from Miami without playing a game.

And Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez summed up the situation in a season barely underway.

“I’m going to be honest with you: I’m scared,” Martinez said.

More than a dozen Marlins players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak that stranded the team in Philadelphia, disrupting Major League Baseball’s schedule on the fifth day of the pandemic-delayed season.

Miami's home opener against Baltimore was postponed as was Tuesday's finale of the two-game series at Marlins Park. Also postponed was the Yankees' series opener Monday at Philadelphia, where New York would have been in the same clubhouse the Marlins used last weekend.

“Obviously, we don’t want any player to get exposed. It’s not a positive thing," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said on the MLB Network. "But I don’t see it as a nightmare. We built the protocols to allow us to continue to play. That’s why we have the expanded rosters, that’s why we have the pool of additional players. And we think we can keep people safe and continue to play.”

Nine Marlins players on the 30-man roster, two taxi squad players and two staff members tested positive, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the results hadn’t been publicly disclosed.

The Yankees are staying in Philadelphia and have their own clubhouse staff with the team there, a person familiar with their plans said, also speaking on condition of anonymity because details were not disclosed. The Marlins postponed their flight home Sunday night after their series finale against the Phillies.

The Orioles planned to fly to Baltimore from Miami on Monday night. They are scheduled to host the Marlins in a two-game series starting Wednesday.

“If the testing results are acceptable, the Marlins will resume play in Baltimore on Wednesday against the Orioles,” Manfred said.

Meanwhile, Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria will be kept away from his team after experiencing a “slight cough and nasal congestion,” general manager Rick Hahn said. Tests were planned.

The Marlins' outbreak was the talk of baseball, and Martinez choked on his words as he discussed the situation. Martinez missed time last season because of a heart condition, and the Nationals are scheduled to play in Miami this weekend.

“My level of concern went from about an eight to a 12. I mean this thing really hits home now,” Martinez said. “I got guys in our clubhouse that are really concerned, as well."

MLB announced the postponement of the two Monday games about eight hours before the scheduled first pitch and said additional COVID-19 testing was being conducted. That included Phillies players being tested Monday.

“The members of the Marlins’ traveling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcome of those results,” MLB said in a statement.

Coming just days into the 60-game season, the Marlins’ outbreak raised anew questions about Manfred’s plan for navigating the pandemic.

“Now we REALLY get to see if MLB is going to put players health first,” tweeted Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price, who opted out of playing this season. “Remember when Manfred said players health was PARAMOUNT?! Part of the reason I’m at home right now is because players health wasn’t being put first. I can see that hasn’t changed.”

Manfred said test results should be available late Monday and there likely will be a public update Tuesday. He said there are factors that would force MLB to alter plans.

“A team losing a number of players that rendered it completely non-competitive would be an issue that we would have to address and have to think about making a change," he said. "Whether that was shutting down a part of the season, the whole season, that depends on the circumstances. Same thing with respect to league-wide. You get to a certain point league wide where it does become a health threat, and we certainly would shut down at that point.”

Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto, said the Marlins’ outbreak isn’t a surprise because MLB’s plan was seriously flawed.

“Baseball is in huge trouble,” Morris said. “It makes me wonder if they are listening to the advice of experts or whether their experts are giving them good advice. This was not a plan anyone who knows what they are talking about would have conceived. It’s playing out like it was supposed to play out.”

The Marlins placed infielder Garrett Cooper, outfielder Harold Ramírez and right-hander José Ureña on the injured list. They claimed right-hander Justin Shafer and left-hander Josh Smith off waivers from Cincinnati, and will likely rely heavily on reinforcements from their training camp in Jupiter, Florida.

Because there are no minor league games this season, teams are allowed to retain 60 players each. They have 30-man rosters during the first two weeks of the season plus a taxi squad of up to three players for every road trip, giving them immediate options to replace ailing players.

The Marlins could bus from Philadelphia to Baltimore. Marlins CEO Derek Jeter released a statement saying the health of players and staff was his organization’s primary focus.

“Postponing tonight’s home opener was the correct decision to ensure we take a collective pause and try to properly grasp the totality of this situation,” Jeter said.

Ureña was scratched from his scheduled start in Sunday’s game, and catcher Jorge Alfaro went on the injured list Friday. No reasons were given for the moves, and it was unclear when the Marlins received the latest positive test results.

Atlanta might have been the source of the Marlins' outbreak. They played exhibition games there Tuesday and Wednesday against the Braves, who have since been without their top two catchers, Tyler Flowers and Travis d’Arnaud, after both showed symptoms of COVID-19.

MLB and the union held talks Monday after aspects of the protocols were widely ignored during the season's first four days, such as the prohibitions on high-fives and other physical celebrations.

Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell said that in the wake of Marlins’ outbreak, his team will double down on efforts to be safe.

“This was a huge punch to the face, a realization that we have to be perfect,” Counsell said. “It feels like a tough task, but we’re going to try and get it right.”

The NBA and NHL plan to resume their seasons in bubble environments, with basketball at Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and hockey at Edmonton, Alberta, and Toronto.

“The NBA and the NHL have an advantage: smaller numbers of players, shorter period of time,” Manfred said. "I understand why they did what they did. I’m just not sure it was workable for us.”


AP Sports Writers Ronald Blum in New York, David Ginsburg in Baltimore, Howard Fendrich in Washington, Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia, Janie McCauley in Oakland, California, Steve Megargee in Milwaukee and Associated Press Writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.


Follow Steven Wine on Twitter:


More AP MLB: and

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Online Hockey, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2021
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tatis, Grisham power Padres to 6-2 win vs. Diamondbacks
Fernando Tatis Jr. raced around the bases on a three-run triple that highlighted a five-run rally and Trent Grisham hit his first home run for the San Diego Padres, who beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 to take three of four games in their opening series
8:52PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Cleanup from Hanna spurs fear amid COVID-19 surge in Texas
As recovery and cleanup efforts get underway in South Texas in the wake of a downgraded Hanna, worried residents are confronting the prospect of undertaking the effort amid a surge in coronavirus cases that has left many fearful about their health
8:38PM ( 30 minutes ago )
At least 3 MLB games postponed amid Marlins' virus outbreak
More than a dozen Miami Marlins players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak that stranded the team in Philadelphia, disrupting Major League Baseball’s schedule on the fifth day of the pandemic-delayed season
8:34PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Experimental COVID-19 vaccine is put to its biggest test
Volunteers have rolled up their sleeves to take part in the biggest test yet of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine
7:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Bubble hockey begins: NHL playoff teams adjust to quarantine
The NHL's 24 playoff teams experienced their first full day in quarantined bubbles of Toronto or Edmonton, Alberta, on Monday
7:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: 49ers wide receiver James on COVID-19 list
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Richie James Jr. has been placed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list
7:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Rangers' Kluber could be done for year with shoulder injury
Two-time AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber could be done for the season
5:33PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: UNC plans for fewer fans at home football games
North Carolina will have fewer fans at football home games if games are played
5:25PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: FDA warns Americans of toxic hand sanitizers
U.S. health officials are warning Americans again to avoid a growing list of imported hand sanitizers that may be contaminated with the toxic chemical methanol
5:22PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
The Latest: US Tennis cancels 2 low-tier Florida tournaments
The U.S. Tennis Association has canceled two lower-tier tennis tournaments in Orlando, Florida, saying the coronavirus pandemic makes it too dangerous to hold the events without a bubble setup
4:12PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: Saints QB Drew Brees donating another $5 million
Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, say they’re donating $5 million toward a partnership with a Louisiana health care provider to build “numerous” health centers in economically struggling communities around the state
3:17PM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: MAAC canceling fall sports competition
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has decided to cancel fall sports competition due to continuing health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic
2:55PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Hockey
US Attorney: Feds will stay in Portland until attacks end
A top official says federal militarized officers will remain in Portland, Oregon, until attacks on the U.S. courthouse cease
7:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
Officer challenges account of violent clearing of protesters
A senior National Guard officer says the U.S. Park Police began the violent clearing of protesters from Lafayette Square last month without apparent provocation or adequate warning
7:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump lawyers renew legal assault on tax records subpoena
President Donald Trump's lawyers have again challenged a criminal subpoena for tax records, calling it a harassment of the president
7:02PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Stocks resume rise, gold rushes to record ahead of busy week
Stocks resumed their upward march on Wall Street Monday, while the price of gold rushed to a record high at the start of a week packed with potentially market-moving events
4:08PM ( 5 hours ago )
John Lewis's body arrives in Capitol Rotunda to lie in state
The body of the late Rep. John Lewis has arrived at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda as lawmakers gather to pay tribute to the long-time Georgia lawmaker and icon of the civil rights movement
2:20PM ( 6 hours ago )
Hanna weakens but flooding still threat in Texas, Mexico
A downgraded Hanna continues weakening but its remnants still threaten to bring rainfall and flash flooding to waterlogged parts of South Texas and Northern Mexico
2:16PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online National News
'Tenet' to open internationally first, in US a week later
In the latest plan for Hollywood’s hopeful return to moviegoing during the pandemic, Warner Bros
1:25PM ( 7 hours ago )
Melania Trump announces Rose Garden 'renewal' project
Melania Trump has announced plans to renovate the White House Rose Garden
11:29AM ( 9 hours ago )
Virus vaccine put to final test in thousands of volunteers
The world's biggest COVID-19 vaccine test got underway Monday with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers
10:43AM ( 10 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Bulgaria's prime minister outlines new measures
Bulgaria’s prime minister plans additional measures aimed at helping businesses and people hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic
1:34PM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: Polosi urges action on coronavirus relief
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is imploring Republicans and the White House to come quickly to the negotiating table with Democrats over the next coronavirus relief package to prevent unemployment assistance and an eviction moratorium from expiring for millions of Americans
12:35PM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest: New social distancing measures in Belgium
Belgium’s prime minister has unveiled a set of drastic social distancing measures aimed at avoiding a new general lockdown amid a surge of COVID-19 infections
12:00PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Cleanup from Hanna spurs fear amid COVID-19 surge in Texas
As recovery and cleanup efforts get underway in South Texas in the wake of a downgraded Hanna, worried residents are confronting the prospect of undertaking the effort amid a surge in coronavirus cases that has left many fearful about their health
8:38PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto dies at 76
Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, known for his avant-garde and colorful work that included flamboyant costumes of late rock icon David Bowie, has died at 76
8:33PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Goodell sends letter to NFL fans explaining plans for season
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has sent a letter to fans outlining the league’s plans to play during the coronavirus pandemic
8:13PM ( 55 minutes ago )
White House Rose Garden is getting a face-lift
One of the most famous gardens in America is getting a face-lift
7:56PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Kentucky closes bars amid spike in coronavirus
Kentucky’s governor has ordered that bars close and restaurants scale back indoor service and urged school districts to wait until later in August to resume in-person classes in a new round of actions to combat a spike in coronavirus cases
7:50PM ( 1 hour ago )