I’d avoided writing about the COVID19 pandemic here on Eutaw Street Report for months. The news has dominated all of our lives for nearly five months now, and it seemed somehow inappropriate to opine on it as it related to baseball. Others here at ESR have filled the void at various times, including Andrew Stetka and Aidan Griesser, and for that I’m thankful.
Speaking of being thankful, I was just that – apprehensively, but completely – when MLB play resumed last weekend. The Birds putting a spanking on the Boston Red Sox in Fenway was just icing on the cake.
Of course though, like seemingly everything else in 2020, no good news could exist without being immediately overshadowed by bad.
The bad reared its ugly head in the form of the Miami Marlins having a sudden outbreak of COVID19 among their team and coaches. In a nasty little twist of fate, the Marlins are of course the team that the O’s were scheduled to play following their series victory in Boston – two games in Miami followed by two games in Baltimore.
The team initially noticed this outbreak over the weekend, at which point the Marlins apparently took it upon themselves to play their game against the Phillies Sunday in Philadelphia, despite knowing that some of their teammates had already tested positive. This incredibly shortsighted and irresponsible decision on the part of the Marlins has not unexpectedly resulted in the situation spiraling out of control in subsequent days.
The latest round of testing from the Miami Marlins found four new coronavirus positives, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN. That brings the total over the last five days to 17. @Ken_Rosenthal first reported the newest COVID-19 cases.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 28, 2020
Monday’s game in Miami was postponed/cancelled. Tonight’s was as well, and the Orioles have returned to Baltimore. The scheduled games in Baltimore look unlikely to happen as well.
Marlins appear unlikely to play their scheduled games in Baltimore Wednesday and Thursday. Waiting on next steps.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) July 28, 2020
This is good news in a way, as last night it looked like Miami had still planned to travel to Baltimore in the coming days, bringing their outbreak with them. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan must be breathing a sigh of relief that this is no longer the plan; like all politicians around the world, he never signed up for any of this type of crisis, but many would have pointed the finger directly at him should he had allowed Miami’s team to bring their SARScoV2 outbreak into the Old Line State.
So, what now?
One of our ESR staff, Paul Valle, had a potential creative solution, which he posted to Twitter.
The @Orioles play the @Yankees in BAL next M,T,W, and are off Th. The @Phillies play the @Marlins in Miami next T,W,Th, with a mutual day off Mon. So why not give PHI/MIA off 4 days, bring the NYY to BAL tomorrow-Th, then have MIA in BAL next week, and NYY in PHI? Problem solved.
— Paul Valle III (@PaulValleIII) July 27, 2020
Lo and behold, it looks like such a scenario may come to fruition.
Teams are discussing Yankees going to Baltimore for games Wednesday and Thursday to take place of Marlins. Yankees and O’s, bystanders only Marlins situation, are trying to get creative and make up games. Needs player approval of course.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 28, 2020
We’ll all continue to watch with bated breath as the situation continues to unfold. We all want the MLB season to continue, but the league and players need to prove that they can navigate these rough and uncharted waters astutely and intelligently. That is to say, no more of this:
Marlins’ group text message decided game vs. Phillies would be played Sunday after COVID-19 outbreak https://t.co/ixGIxNu23F
— Philadelphia Inquirer Sports (@phillysport) July 27, 2020
Other leagues are also watching closely. Hopefully we won’t all be relegated to betting on virtual sports for the balance of 2020.