MLB games are already falling apart, and we’re only 5 days into the season
Baseball, the major league sport that theoretically could be less risky for players (it’s outdoors! players rarely touch!), is already struggling with a major coronavirus outbreak, just five days into its abbreviated season.
The Miami Marlins’ home opener tonight against the Baltimore Orioles has been postponed in the wake of a rampant COVID-19 flareup. So far at least 12 Marlins players and two coaches have tested positive.
The Marlins are weathering all this in Philadelphia hotels, after playing a weekend series against the Phillies, including a Sunday game. The Marlins also played an exhibition game in Atlanta on Wednesday. The outbreak has now affected umpires, clubhouse staff, employees, flight crews, and the Yankees, who are scheduled to play the Phillies tonight, in the same clubhouse used (July 31, 2020) by the Marlins. (It has reportedly been fumigated.)
The Phillies had their own coronavirus difficulties last month, when they shut down their Florida spring training facility after eight people tested positive for COVID-19. Florida is home to some of the country’s worst coronavirus hotspots, with new cases averaging over 10,000 a day statewide.
MLB planned to hold 60 games over 70 days at teams’ home ballparks, which leaves little room for rescheduling. The plan was criticized by experts for not creating a safe “bubble” for teams.
Here’s how other sports are handling their seasons: