Four more Miami Marlins tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning. Since Opening Day, 17 Marlins players and coaches have tested positive, so it’s no surprise that the Washington Nationals players voted against traveling to Miami for a scheduled three-game series.
As of Tuesday morning, no Phillies players tested positive, but one clubhouse attendant did. Just because the team appears infection-free now, that doesn’t mean they will continue to come up negative. False negative rates are extremely high after initial contact with the virus. According to Harvard Health Publishing, tests performed on the same day are essentially worthless, and even four days after it’s little better than a coin flip.
A word of caution: Harvard Medical School says the following about testing so soon after exposure (this also applies to the Marlins trying to play on Wednesday, and baseball’s testing measures in general)https://t.co/Sc2wdEqMzF https://t.co/1geLCLrZny pic.twitter.com/NCnuCvWQ9r— Nick Stellini (@StelliniTweets) July 28, 2020
Unlike the Marlins’ decision to play on Sunday against the Phillies, the choice to avoid Miami was ultimately up to MLB. The Marlins won’t play until Monday at the earliest, and the Phillies are off until Friday. The commissioner’s office and ownership have especially acted like cartoon villains this year, but sending a team into a hot zone to play against a team that has had half of its players test positive so far would be reprehensible even by MLB’s low, low standards.
There is no ethical way for the Marlins to play baseball in the next two weeks. At minimum, the team needs to be quarantined for 14 days before they can return to the field. A better solution would be for the team to withdraw. They’ve eclipsed the number of positive cases the Orlando Pride, Dallas FC, and Nashville SC had before withdrawing from their respective tournaments. That baseball rosters are larger is no excuse to keep hurling lives in front of the virus.
Better yet, the season should be canceled. This country and this league are too inept, too morally bereft to reap the rewards of baseball.
J.J. Cooper | Baseball America: The Atlantic League has approved Brandon Bellamy as the majority owner of the league’s expansion team. This is significant because Bellamy will become the only Black majority owner in professional baseball.
John Trupin | Amazin’ Avenue: The Mets have signed Bruce Maxwell to a minor league contract. Maxwell, of course, was the first baseball player to kneel in protest of police brutality during the national anthem and was blackballed from baseball because of it.
Bradford William Davis | New York Daily News: MLB’s displays of unity rang hollow when the players who knelt with the black cloth stood for the national anthem thus abandoning players like Mookie Betts who protested alone.