Major League Baseball has formally announced a series of alterations to the upcoming schedule in the wake of the Marlins’ Covid-19 outbreak. The changes are as follows:
- All Marlins games are postponed through Sunday. As a result, the Marlins aren’t expected to play until next Monday.
- The remainder of this week’s Phillies-vs.-Yankees games have been postponed. As a result, the Phillies aren’t expected to play until Friday.
- The Yankees and Orioles are now scheduled to play at Camden Yards on Wednesday and Thursday.
- Additional scheduling alterations for the week of Aug. 3 will be announced by the league later this week.
Those alterations seemingly leave the Nationals without an opponent this coming weekend, as had been recently reported to be the case by Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Major League Baseball concluded its press release with the following statement:
The difficult circumstances of one Club reinforce the vital need to be diligent with the protocols in all ways, both on and off the field. We will continue to bolster our protocols and make any necessary adjustments. The realities of the virus still loom large, and we must operate with that in mind every day. We are confident that Clubs and players will act appropriately, for themselves and for others, and the data provides reason to believe that the protocols can work effectively.
Notably, the release doesn’t address the bizarre scene on Sunday that saw Marlins players and field staff make the final call on playing — rather than a league official or health expert — even as positive tests piled up. Both shortstop Miguel Rojas and manager Don Mattingly said after the game that the team never gave strong consideration to calling off the game. It’s rather remarkable that the decision on whether to play that day fell the field level in the first place, however. Whether any alterations to that decision process will be implemented moving forward remains unclear.
MLB’s press release indicates that the other 29 teams have not had any new positive tests among on-field personnel since July 24. That would seem to clash with the Reds’ July 25 announcement that Matt Davidson has been placed on the IL following a positive Covid-19 test, though that test may have technically been conducted prior to the 24th. There have been several other players placed on the IL without a reason given, although that doesn’t ensure any have had a positive test. Teams are permitted to place players on the Covid-19 IL if they show symptoms or are exposed to someone known to have tested positive.