The Nationals held a team vote on the club’s scheduled upcoming trip to play the coronavirus-stricken Marlins in Miami, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). The “vast majority” of players oppose boarding the flight.
This was more of a straw poll than a binding vote, as Major League Baseball possesses decisionmaking authority on scheduling. But the fact it was held at all represents a message sent upstairs by the defending World Series champs.
There are several possible issues with the weekend series. Traveling to and from Miami is its own problem, given the local covid outbreak there. And taking the field against the Marlins is a concern regardless of the location, as the team has now registered 15 positive tests among active-roster players.
How the league handles this matter could well decide whether the 2020 season regains its footing. Over the weekend, the Marlins inexplicably took the field against the Phillies after multiple positive tests, evidently based solely upon the collective sentiment within the Miami clubhouse. Surely, Major League Baseball will look to gain control over the process — and, to some extent, the outcomes — by proactively determining the best course of action as test results are received.