After two postponements, Covid-19 tests will determine if Orioles play Marlins on Wednesday - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

After two postponements, Covid-19 tests will determine if Orioles play Marlins on Wednesday

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

Monday was a day of anxiety for the Orioles, Miami Marlins and the rest of Major League Baseball. After an outbreak of Covid-19 on the Marlins, MLB postponed the Orioles’ scheduled games against them in Miami on Monday and Tuesday nights.

It also postponed the Yankees-Phillies game in Philadelphia. The visiting locker room for the Yankees was used by the Marlins this past weekend. Tuesday’s Yankees-Phillies game also has been postponed.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said that if additional testing done on the Marlins is acceptable, Miami will play the Orioles on Wednesday night at Camden Yards.

However, seven new cases among players was reported Tuesday morning by Ken Rosenthal, of The Athletic, making it less likely that the Orioles will play the Marlins on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Marlins stayed in Philadelphia Sunday after at least 11 players and two coaches tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I don’t put this in the nightmare category,” Manfred said Monday. “It’s not a positive thing, but I don’t see it as a nightmare. … That’s why we have the expanded rosters. That’s why we have the pool of additional players.”

The Marlins might need to find replacements for 15 of their 33 players from their alternate site in Jupiter, Florida.

The development came after the Orioles bounced back from an opening-game 13-2 loss to the Red Sox to take two of three from Boston, ending the first weekend on an apparent high note. Miami also won two of three from the Phillies, but the Marlins were presenting baseball with its first crisis after the restart.

MLB’s announced test results last Friday were strong. Of the 10,939 samples, just six tested positive for Covid-19. Four of these were players, and two were staff members.

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After Monday’s news, there is concern about getting through the season. With restricted travel and strict health protocols, Manfred has to be unnerved by the Marlins’ outbreak and what it might portend.

As the NBA and NHL try to resume their regular seasons, there are many who believe that Major League Baseball should have followed these leagues and played in bubbles.

The NBA is playing at the Disney complex in Kissimmee, Florida. The NHL’s bubbles are in Edmonton and Toronto.

Those are indoor sports, where a bubble is easier to achieve.

There were proposals for bubbles in baseball, but the locations in Arizona, Florida and Texas are now hotbeds of the coronavirus.

Had baseball played in Arizona, most of the games would have been played outside in scorching heat during the day and fewer fans would have been watching.

Initial ratings for Thursday night’s opening games featuring the Yankees and Nationals and Dodgers and Giants were the highest for any regular-season telecast since 2011, and fan interest over the weekend seemed strong.

Baseball’s 60-game schedule has it finishing the regular season by September 27th and then expanding the playoffs.

The idea for a 16-team wild-card round is a good one, especially this season. It’s possible that teams with .500 records, or even below, will qualify, but the fifth- through eighth-seeded teams would have to play the two-of-three series on the road.

It’s likely that this gimmick won’t go away. Unlike the mismatches seen in the first round of the NBA playoffs, these aren’t seven-game series, and the round will be over in four days, extending the postseason by perhaps two days.

The expanded playoffs are also part of an answer to the Players Association complaint about teams tanking to line up higher draft choices. With eight of 15 teams in each league qualifying for the playoffs, the idea of teams not doing their best to win now is reduced.

The owners and players, who will engage in what are likely to be contentious talks again next year, need the season to run relatively smoothly. However, with an outbreak occurring so early,  that doesn’t seem likely.

The unexpected two days off for the Orioles sets up, health permitting, a long homestand. They have eight games—and maybe more if doubleheaders are included—with the Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays and Yankees. Tampa Bay and New York are scheduled for three-game series.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde, who has balanced the health and performance concerns of his team, will have an opportunity to reset his rotation because of the postponements. Asher Wojciechowski was supposed to pitch on Monday while Kohl Stewart was set for Tuesday.

Tommy Milone, who started the opener, was the likely starter on Wednesday, and Hyde hoped to get John Means back from the injured list for Thursday’s game.

If doubleheaders are played, the teams would get to add another player from their alternate site.

The Orioles, who have had flights from Boston to Miami and Miami to Baltimore in consecutive days, won’t need to board a plane until August 25th. They have consecutive three-game series in Washington (August 7-9) and Philadelphia (August 11-13).

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    July 28, 2020 at 7:28 am

    They should play at least one double header, if not two, Indians & White Sox play a DH today from yesterday’s postponement…go O’s…

  2. Orial

    July 28, 2020 at 8:21 am

    The outcome of this will weigh not on only baseball but put up red flags for the NFL season. I see some fans calling for an instant stoppage or saying it never should have started. That’s the attitude that will financially kill this country. Even under scary times we have to inch our way forward. Now I’m hearing Gov Hogan might halt the 2 games in Baltimore. Being too cautious or not cautious enough seem to be lockiing horns.

  3. Bman

    July 28, 2020 at 8:59 am

    Yes, keep inching forward, not backwards. Do not be afraid.

  4. willmiranda

    July 28, 2020 at 10:43 am

    Testing positive does not necessarily mean someone is sick or contagious. Many of us have viruses that are inactive. A good immune system takes care of them. A good way to ruin immune systems is a policy of trepidation, isolation, and inaction.

    • Bhoffman1

      July 28, 2020 at 10:49 am

      You are so mistaken. The spread can be by people who are asymptomatic with no illness but give it to more vulnerable people like their parents or grandparents. Amazing this far into the pandemic someone could be so ill informed

      • Bancells Moustache

        July 28, 2020 at 11:24 am

        Pretty sure these guys don’t head over to Grandpa’s house after a game or a positive test

      • willmiranda

        July 28, 2020 at 3:44 pm

        I’m sorry you regard me as mistaken and ill informed since you agree with me. I say “not necessarily” and you say “can be.” Same thing. This far into the pandemic, there remains much incertitude and disagreement even among experts. Practical steps nave to be based on probabilities. I do have an issue with those who always embrace the direst possibility and even combine worst scenarios into a preternaturally perfect storm, concluding that every response must assume that this set of assumptions is a certitude. That something “can be” imagined doesn’t mean it “must be” in reality.

    • Bhoffman1

      July 28, 2020 at 12:16 pm

      That’s why many players are sitting out because they head home to their wife who might be pregnant. What a stupid response

  5. Bhoffman1

    July 28, 2020 at 10:44 am

    The marlins are going to need ML ready players . It would be nice to trade Mason Williams to them for a 16 year old Dominican player(Elias specialty) as he has no future here and could step in and play for them.

    • CalsPals

      July 28, 2020 at 11:05 am

      If we play, I wouldn’t want the O’s to see him, but it might teach them…lol…go O’s…

  6. CalsPals

    July 28, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Unfortunately some the cavalier attitude here is the same players are showing, NO IS 100% SAFE, COVID doesn’t discriminate…go O’s…

  7. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 28, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Call me shallow, inconsiderate or just plain ol’ ignorant, but I just want to talk and watch a little baseball. Baseball .. not politics … not the dos and don’ts of life with Covid. I thought we had just about got to that point .. and then this news out of Miami….arrrrggghhh?

    I hear and read so much conflicting information from both sides of the Covid political tug of war, that about the only thing I know about 19 is that we don’t really don’t know anything definitively about the 19! Freakin’ Covid is really harshing my baseball buzz.

    All that being said, and above all else, stay safe my friends!

    • Bhoffman1

      July 28, 2020 at 1:55 pm

      I just want to see baseball myself. I happen to live in Miami and it’s not coincidental that the Marlins had so many players who tested positive. The virus is all over the place here and no one is tracing people who have it. They can just go out and keep on spreading it. Masks are mandatory in Miami Beach but not in other places in the state. As for players not be effected ERod former Oriole 22 years old has heart inflammatory problem now after testing positive. I still think baseball should go on and I hope this is a one time occurrence

      • Birdman

        July 28, 2020 at 2:02 pm

        Yeah, probably not coincidental that the team that shows up with so many infections is located in a state that has flagrantly ignored the advice of public health experts for the past several months.

  8. Hallbe62

    July 28, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    No plane ride until 8/25 for the O’s. That will help. Stay healthy O’s….and stay at home as much as you can when not at the park.

  9. TxBirdFan

    July 28, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Contact tracing would be helpful with the Marlin players. I though Jeter said they left Miami healthy for preseason games in Atlanta, implying they didn’t get sick in Miami. That would be bothersome if they got sick playing, traveling or at a hotel. Tracing would help figure that out.

    I’m glad baseball is back but if games have to be canceled for health and safety reasons then I’m supportive. Sometimes you have to take a step backwards on your journey forward.

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