Marlins Move To Daily COVID-19 Testing After Outbreak Halts Season
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said that following the club's outbreak of COVID-19 cases, they "will move to a daily testing schedule while they continue to remain quarantined and isolated and are also enacting 'additional preventive procedures with our traveling party,'" according to McPherson & Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD. The club is "remaining in Philadelphia while they gather information." Jeter said that the Marlins "did not experience new positive tests during their three weeks of summer camp workouts at Marlins Park before 'experiencing challenges' when they started the season on the road." Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez yesterday indicated that everyone in the Marlins' traveling party -- including players and coaches who tested negative -- are "required to quarantine for 14 days once they arrive back in South Florida." Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has final say on the matter, and he "previously issued an exemption to sports teams, allowing them to waive the 14-day quarantine period." Gimenez said that he "would defer to DeSantis" (MIAMI HERALD, 7/29).
IS TIME ON THEIR SIDE? ESPN.com's David Schoenfield in a roundtable discussion noted the plan for now is to "give the Marlins the rest of the week to regroup and give the baseball operations department time to figure out the team's roster, with the Marlins resuming play next week." The good news is that MLB has said that of 6,400 other tests since Friday, there have been "no other positive results for on-field personnel other than the outbreak with the Marlins." ESPN.com's Jesse Rogers noted what is clear is the league "will adjust, maneuver, and basically do whatever it needs to in order to keep playing -- at least with as many teams as possible" (ESPN.com, 7/28).
WHAT NOW? USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale wonders, "If the Yankees had 15 players test positive for COVID-19 and their season was halted for a week, would we still be playing baseball?" The baseball world has been "turned upside down by the Marlins, but the show goes on -- for now" (USA TODAY, 7/29). ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser said the Marlins are a "bad team” and they “don't figure in the playoffs, so maybe you can work around them.” But if this was the Yankees, Dodgers or Cubs, a “big, famous team, people would be screaming to shut the whole thing down” (“PTI,” ESPN, 7/28).
TOO LATE: In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde asks, "What's next? Does the Marlins' season return to normalcy next week? Do test results until then suggest their season is safe -- or done?" The better decision than pausing the Marlins season yesterday "would have been doing that last Sunday when four Marlins had tested positive." That would have suggested baseball "had a big-picture plan for what to do when confronted with an outbreak and spared more exposure to Marlins and Phillies" (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 7/29).