Major League Baseball postponed tonight’s Yankee-Phillies game in the wake of a major COVID-19 outbreak with the Miami Marlins. Postponed, not cancelled, is the key word here: the season has not yet been cancelled. Still, it’s looking more and more likely by the minute.
Miami has at least 14 positive cases in the last few days alone. The Marlins were in Philadelphia this weekend and played 3 games against the Phillies. They played yesterday despite knowing several players tested positive over the weekend, which is borderline unconscionable. That’s the cause of the postponed game, as the Yankees and Phillies had a game tonight in that very same ballpark. We now wait to see if more players in Miami and Philadelphia have contracted the virus.
For their part, the Yanks tried to mitigate their risk by bringing in their own clubhouse staff while Philly’s staff was quarantined. The Yanks are also staying in a different hotel than Miami. Those were obviously half measures, though each move makes sense in a vacuum. I wouldn’t have felt especially comfortable playing in a game tonight, nor would I have felt comfortable covering one in this environment. Postponing is the right move and also the least the league can do right now.
I think we were all extremely skeptical – even if hopeful! – that the league would be able to pull this thing off. It is looking less and less likely that this is the case now. It took all of 4 days for the new season to reach a major crisis point. Given what we know right now, I wouldn’t expect this season to make the week. It probably shouldn’t, either.
UPDATE (11:21 am): It’s official. Here’s the league’s statement: