SAN DIEGO — We’re less than a week into the Major League Baseball (MLB) season and games are already being canceled due to COVID-19. Several Miami Marlins players and coaches tested positive and now fans are concerned that this is just the beginning, putting the entire season in jeopardy.
“I honestly didn't think it would be this quick, but I'm not surprised,” said baseball fan Diane Vednarik. “I mean, COVID has just taken over lately.”
To try and lower the health risk to players, baseball returned a few days ago without fans in the stands, but over the weekend, a couple Marlins players tested positive for coronavirus. The next day, a few more did as well. As of Monday, at least 11 players and two coaches have been infected with COVID-19.
“I think it's fair to say that guys are concerned about things,” said Marlins Manager Don Mattingly.
The team played in Philadelphia over the weekend and now the players are all in quarantine at their hotel. They were supposed to return home for a game Monday night, but that's been canceled.
“We're talking about health," said Mattingly. "We're talking about these guys traveling back to their homes and their families and their kids and it's the reason we want to be safe.”
Major League Baseball also canceled the Philadelphia Phillies game Monday against the New York Yankees so it could make sure the locker room the Marlins used could go through a deep cleaning and sterilization.
Fans are fearing the worst.
“I don't think the whole season is going to play out to tell you the truth,” said one Tampa Bay Rays fan. “I think they're going to cancel it and good luck to football. I hope it comes back, but I doubt it.”
Meanwhile, the Padres wrapped up their homestand Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Manager Jayce Tingler said he didn't know about the postponed games until he arrived at Petco for Monday's game.
“I can't really speak to what's going on in the other clubhouses,” Tingler said. “The situation they're going through, you hope for the best at the end of the day.”
It's not clear when the Marlins will be able to start playing again and they are not on the Padres' schedule this season. At this point, Major League Baseball said there are no plans to cancel the rest of the season.