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Home Sport Marlins' season 'paused' by MLB amid coronavirus outbreak: report

Marlins’ season ‘paused’ by MLB amid coronavirus outbreak: report

The 2020 season is reportedly on hold for the Miami Marlins.

The team is expecting MLB to “pause” the season for the Marlins for most or all of this week. MLB Network reported the Philadelphia Phillies could also be kept on the sideline for several days.

Dr. Anthony Fauci fears the growing outbreak of the coronavirus within the Marlins could threaten the 2020 baseball season.

Fauci said Tuesday on “Good Morning America” that Major League Baseball still has time to curb the spread of the pandemic. Not long after his appearance on the television program, reports surfaced that the Marlins were up to 17 total positive tests in five days.

“This could put it in danger,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “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.”

The Marlins completed a three-game series in Philadelphia on Sunday but opted not to fly back to Miami due to their rising number of cases of COVID-19 confirmed by positive tests. The team’s home opener against the Baltimore Orioles was cancelled.

“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].”

Commissioner Rob Manfred solely has the power to postpone the season. Individual teams are given the leeway to postpone or cancel games as the Marlins and Phillies did on Monday. The Phillies also postponed Tuesday night’s home game against the New York Yankees.

“A team losing a number of players that rendered it completely noncompetitive would be an issue that we would have to address and have to think about making a change,” Manfred said. “Whether that was shutting down a part of the season, the whole season, that depends on the circumstances. Same thing with respect to leaguewide. You get to a certain point leaguewide where it does become a health threat, and we certainly would shut down at that point.”

Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez, who was sidelined during the 2019 season with a heart issue, said Monday night he was “scared” by the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. The Nationals are scheduled to visit the Marlins this weekend. Martinez said his level of concern went from “an 8 to a 12” after hearing of the outbreak with the Marlins.

“I am scared, I really am,” Martinez said.

The Nationals voted not to travel to Miami this weekend, according to multiple reports, before widespread indications that those games could be scrapped by the league.

The New York Yankees-Philadelphia Phillies games was also postponed Tuesday for the second straight day, according to a person familiar with the league’s decision.

The Phillies were waiting for complete results from their COVID-19 tests following an outbreak among the Miami Marlins, who played a weekend series in Philadelphia. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Major League baseball hasn’t announced the postponement.

The Yankees are scheduled to host the Phillies on Wednesday and Thursday.

More than a dozen Marlins players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak that stranded the team in Philadelphia on Sunday, disrupting MLB’s schedule in the early days of the pandemic-delayed season.

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