The Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak, according to Commissioner Rob Manfred, hasn’t reached nightmare status, but is sure giving MLB a big headache. Miami and the Philadelphia Phillies haven’t played since the weekend, and as it turns out, the Phils won’t return to play on Saturday as it was previously scheduled.
A Phillies coach and a stadium staffer tested positive for COVID-19 just days after the Marlins played in town. Now, as a result, and despite no players testing positive, the team won’t play against the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend. That will likely affect the Yankees, as well, as we will explain.
Per Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports the Phillies’ weekend series vs. the Toronto Blue Jays has been postponed. The two clubs were slated to play a doubleheader on Saturday and another game on Sunday, but that plan is now out the window.
Both the Marlins and the Phillies haven’t played since last Sunday, when they faced each other at Citizens Bank Park. Since last week, a total of 17 Marlins players plus two coaches have contracted the disease. MLB says the season isn’t in jeopardy, but this has to be an inconvenient turn of events for the league as it tries to navigate through the season.
MLB is maneuvering on the go
The Phillies, upon receiving the news of the two positives, canceled all stadium activity at the Citizens Bank Park, including a team workout.
“The Phillies have received the results of yesterday’s testing,” the team said in a statement. “While no players tested positive for COVID-19, there were two staff members that did test positive. One is a member of the coaching staff and one of a member of the home clubhouse staff. All activity at Citizens Bank Park has been cancelled today and until further notice.”
Citizens Bank Park was going to be the venue in which the Phillies and Blue Jays were going to play on the weekend. Now, MLB’s COVID-19 crisis has affected yet another team’s schedule: the Blue Jays.
Toronto remains with no home and now, with no opponent. It will play in Buffalo but the stadium isn’t yet ready.
As of now, the Phillies are scheduled to play the Yankees on Monday and Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, then Wednesday and Thursday at Citizens Bank Park against the Bombers. COVID-19 will have the last word about that four-game series.