BOSTON (CBS) — It hasn’t been a great opening week for Major League Baseball, which has now had to put one team’s season on pause due to COVID-19.
MLB has told the Miami Marlins to take the rest of the week off as the team deals with a COVID-19 outbreak, the league announced Tuesday afternoon. Miami’s season has been put on pause until Monday, Aug. 3, while MLB has shuffled the schedule of three other teams so that Miami’s break won’t interfere with the league’s 60-game season.
Miami’s home opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday, and home game against the O’s on Tuesday, had been previously postponed after over a dozen members of the Marlins organization tested positive for COVID-19 over the last five days. Miami, which played a three-game set against the Phillies in Philadelphia over the weekend, was supposed to visit Baltimore on Wednesday and Thursday, and then host the Washington Nationals in Miami on Friday though Sunday.
The Marlins remain in Philadelphia as they await more COVID-19 test results. Earlier Tuesday, Washington players petitioned to the league to not have them play in Miami this weekend.
“Given the current circumstances, MLB believes that it is most prudent to allow the Marlins time to focus on providing care for their players and planning their Baseball Operations for a resumption early next week,” the league said Tuesday.
The University of New Hampshire sports law professor Michael McCann said this start was the league’s worst fear.
“You would think if that’s happened already it will happen again, especially because players aren’t in a bubble environment. They’re living their life,” he said. “If it turns out that every week there’s a new team that comes down a wide range of infections, it’s going to be hard to have a season.”
In addition to pausing Miami’s schedule, MLB also postponed the home-and-home series between the Phillies and New York Yankees that was set to take place this week. The Phillies will not play until Friday, while the Yankees will now play the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Wednesday and Thursday.
New York’s three-game series with the Boston Red Sox beginning on Friday is still on as scheduled.
MLB said that additional rescheduling for next week will be announced later this week.