With Marlins battling virus outbreak, will they play again?

With Marlins battling virus outbreak, will they play again?

MIAMI — The Miami Marlins, one of the most under-the-radar teams in sports, have been in the news lately.

Sort of.

A network TV news anchor referred to them this week as the Miami Dolphins. She later apologized and corrected herself, saying they were actually the Florida Marlins. The next day Dr. Anthony Fauci, opening day hurler for the Washington Nationals, also referred to their NL East rivals as the Miami Dolphins.

Lack of respect? Even Rodney Dangerfield would probably get the Marlins’ name wrong. Nonetheless, they’ve become the talk of baseball while coping with a coronavirus outbreak that forced MLB to suspend their season through at least Sunday.

Thanks to a 2-1 record, this is the latest the Marlins have ever been in first place. The question isn’t whether they’ll make the playoffs, however, but whether they’ll play another game.

For starters, will other teams be willing to play them? Washington Nationals players voted almost unanimously against making a trip to Miami for three games this weekend, before MLB called off the series.

Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak, whose team played the Marlins last weekend, acknowledged a level of discomfort regarding a rematch.

“The league is on top of that very issue — the safety of teams going into Miami right now,” Klentak said.

If the Marlins are to keep playing, fielding a team will be a challenge. Another Miami player tested positive for the virus, bringing the team’s total to 16 infected players, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the test results were not announced.

With half the team sidelined, rounding up roster replacements will be a patchwork effort. The Marlins’ farm system ranks with the best in baseball, but some of their top prospects aren’t on the 40-man roster, which will make it difficult to promote them to the majors.

The Marlins have been scrambling to acquire players with big league experience. They claimed right-handers Mike Morin and Justin Shafer off waivers and signed free agent infielder Logan Forsythe.

Placed on the injured list were outfielder Harold Ramirez, catcher Jorge Alfaro and outfielder-first baseman Garrett Cooper, with more such moves likely to come.

Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the major league season could be in jeopardy. But MLB remains optimistic it can navigate the pandemic, noting that Miami has been the only team with a positive test result since Friday.

The Marlins’ outbreak occurred in Philadelphia, where they remain quarantined. Eventually they’ll return to Miami, one of the nation’s virus hot spots — and now a hot spot regarding the topic of playing games during a pandemic.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was outspoken on that subject in May as he discussed the state’s handling of the virus crisis.

“Professional sports are going to be welcome in Florida,” DeSantis said. “That may not be the case in every other state in this country as we’ve seen. And so what I would tell commissioners of leagues is if you have a team in an area where they just won’t let them operate, we’ll find a place for you here in the state of Florida, because we think it’s important, and we know that it can be done safely.”

The debate rages on, as does the virus.

___

AP Sports Writer Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia and Associated Press Writer Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Florida, contributed to this report.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Steve_Wine

Steven Wine, The Associated Press

Baseball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Water quality advisory issued for Buffalo Lake at Rochon Sands

Elevated levels of fecal bacteria were detected via testing of Buffalo Lake water, at this beach location

Stettler area to welcome new MDF production plant

Great Plains MDF Production Inc building a $750 million straw fibre MDF board plant

Country star Drew Gregory perfoms at Entertainment in the Park Aug. 5th

‘Gregory the singer is also Gregory the farmer – two sides of the same engaging, unpretentious and ‘amiable coin’

Economy grew 4.5% in May, Statistics Canada says

The retail trade registered a 16.4 per cent bump

QUIZ: A summer’s day on the water

How much do you know about boats and other watercraft?

A weakened Tropical Storm Isaias lashes virus-hit Florida

‘Don’t be fooled by the downgrade’

Wilford Brimley, ‘Cocoon’ and ‘Natural’ actor, dies at 85

He was on dialysis and had several medical ailments

Flames ground Jets 4-1 to take series lead, Winnipeg’s Scheifele injured

Playoff animosity didn’t take long to brew in Calgary’s 4-1 win over the Jets

N.L. Liberals to announce next leader, 14th premier during atypical convention Monday

Only 50 people will be allowed inside the event to welcome the next leader

Despite ‘perfect storm’ of U.S. discord, America’s truths trump foreign fictions

“On masking, it is extremely silly, it’s extremely dangerous”

NHL returns to action 142 after COVID-19 forced suspension of season

It became clear pretty quickly Saturday hockey hadn’t missed a beat

How one Montreal long-term care home managed to keep COVID-19 away

Montreal is the Canadian hotspot for COVID-19

Most Read