Monday May 17th, 2021 4:17PM

Fauci says Marlins’ virus outbreak could endanger MLB season

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins' coronavirus outbreak could endanger the Major League Baseball season, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday, although he doesn't believe games needs to stop now.

More than a dozen Marlins players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19, stranding the team in Philadelphia and raising anew questions about MLB's attempts to conduct a season.

“This could put it in danger,” said Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert. "I don’t believe they need to stop, but we just need to follow this and see what happens with other teams on a day-by-day basis.”

Fauci made his comments on ABC's “Good Morning America.”

“Major League Baseball — the players, the owners, the managers — have put a lot of effort into getting together and putting protocols that we feel would work,” Fauci said. “It’s very unfortunate what happened with the Miami (Marlins).”

Their outbreak continued to disrupt Major League Baseball’s schedule Tuesday, the sixth day of the pandemic-delayed season, with the Marlins' home game against Baltimore postponed.

The game Monday between those teams was also called off, as was the Yankees’ series opener Monday at Philadelphia, where New York would have been in the same clubhouse the Marlins used last weekend.

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.

“Obviously, we don’t want any player to get exposed. It’s not a positive thing,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said on the MLB Network. “But I don’t see it as a nightmare. ... We think we can keep people safe and continue to play.”

The Orioles, who made a trip to Miami without playing a game, 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 Washington Nationals manager Dave 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.

“I’m going to be honest with you: I’m scared,” Martinez said. “My level of concern went from about an eight to a 12. I mean this thing really hits home now. ... I got guys in our clubhouse that are really concerned, as well.”

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.

Manfred 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.”

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.

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.”

The NFL has opted not to create a bubble environment as training camps open for the coming season.

“It might be that they have to go in a bubble,” Fauci said, "but I think they’re conscientious enough and want to protect their players and protect the personnel that they will do the right thing.”


Associated Press writers Ronald Blum in New York and Howard Fendrich and Darlene Superville in Washington 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, AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2021
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Real Madrid forward Mariano positive for virus
Real Madrid says forward Mariano has tested positive for the coronavirus
8:27AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Tenor Bocelli, who had COVID, says lockdown humiliated him
Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who had COVID-19, says the pandemic lockdown made him feel “humiliated and offended” by depriving him of freedom
8:25AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Fauci says Marlins’ virus outbreak could endanger MLB season
Dr. Anthony Fauci says the Miami Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak could endanger the Major League Baseball season but he doesn’t believe games needs to stop now
8:24AM ( 10 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
5 Things to Know for Today
Here are a few things to know about the day’s news from The Associated Press
6:15AM ( 2 hours ago )
LEADING OFF: Marlins postponed again amid virus outbreak
Major League Baseball has already postponed a second scheduled game between Miami and Baltimore after more than a dozen Marlins players and staff tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the club to lock down in Philadelphia
1:52AM ( 6 hours ago )
Rossi scores pair, LAFC gets revenge in 4-1 win over Seattle
Diego Rossi scored on a penalty kick early in the first half and provided the clinching goal in the 82nd minute, and Los Angeles FC thumped reigning MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders 4-1
1:16AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Sports
Tatis Jr., 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
7:27PM ( 13 hours 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 ( 13 hours 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 ( 13 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
The Latest: Rockies reliever Tim Collins decides not to play
The Colorado Rockies say left-handed reliever Tim Collins has decided not to play this season because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic
4:36PM ( 15 hours ago )
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 ( 16 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 ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online Hockey
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 ( 15 hours ago )
2 MLB games postponed in wake of Marlins virus outbreak
Two major league games scheduled for Monday night have been postponed after more than a dozen Miami Marlins players and staff members tested positive for the coronavirus in an outbreak that stranded the team in Philadelphia
4:45PM ( 15 hours ago )
The Latest: Pence visits Florida to discuss COVID-19 vaccine
Vice President Mike Pence visited Florida on Monday to hold a round table with University of Miami researchers to speak about the final-stage testing of the experimental COVID-19 vaccine
4:25PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
The Latest: Real Madrid forward Mariano positive for virus
Real Madrid says forward Mariano has tested positive for the coronavirus
8:27AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Tenor Bocelli, who had COVID, says lockdown humiliated him
Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who had COVID-19, says the pandemic lockdown made him feel “humiliated and offended” by depriving him of freedom
8:25AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Technology infuses ancient hajj rites amid global pandemic
The vast white marble floors surrounding Islam’s holiest site, the cube-shaped Kaaba in Mecca, are not packed with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims as they normally would be the day before the hajj
8:21AM ( 12 minutes ago )
UK travel ban on Spain strikes new blow to tourism industry
Britain’s effective ban on travel to Spain following an upswing in coronavirus cases in the country’s northeast has hammered home the lack of a comprehensive, Europe-wide approach to suppressing the virus and giving hard-hit, tourism-reliant economies a chance to rebound
8:18AM ( 16 minutes ago )
The Latest: French govt maintains 5,000 capacity in stadiums
The French government has maintained a maximum capacity of 5,000 fans in stadiums until the end of August amid the coronavirus pandemic
8:16AM ( 18 minutes ago )