Four more from St. Louis Cardinals test positive for coronavirus
The Cardinals-Brewers game in Milwaukee on Saturday was postponed after one more player and three staff members with St. Louis tested positive for the coronavirus, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press.
The Miami Marlins received no new positive results in their latest round of coronavirus testing, a different person familiar with that situation said, but second baseman Isan Diaz opted out of the season.
The Philadelphia Phillies, meanwhile, said they had no new positives from tests a day before. Players were permitted to access Citizens Bank Park for staggered workouts beginning in the afternoon.
The people with knowledge of the Cardinals’ and Marlins’ situations spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the tests had not been released publicly.
Two Cardinals players were flagged for positive tests Friday, forcing the series opener in Milwaukee to be called off. The teams had hoped to resume play Saturday and make up Friday’s game as part of a doubleheader Sunday.
The Cardinals learned of their first two positive tests Thursday night from samples taken Wednesday before a game in Minnesota. Players and staff were instructed to isolate in their hotel rooms, and the club said it was conducting rapid testing and contact tracing.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has spoken with union leader Tony Clark about the importance of players following the league’s coronavirus protocols.
Saturday’s game in Milwaukee is the 17th postponement caused by the coronavirus in the first 10 days of baseball’s truncated 60-game season.
At least 21 members of the Marlins’ traveling party have been infected by an outbreak at the start of a season-opening trip. The team hasn’t played since Sunday in Philadelphia but hopes to resume games next week.
Diaz consistently tested negative while the season was on hold, but he decided to become the first Miami player to opt out. He played in two of the Marlins’ three games before their season was halted.
“This has been a tough week to see so many of my teammates come down with this virus, and see how quickly it spreads,” Diaz wrote on Instagram. “After much deliberation and thought, I have made the difficult choice of opting out for the remainder of the 2020 season.”
Diaz batted .173 as a rookie last year, but the organization has big hopes regarding his potential.
The infected Marlins players and staff left Philadelphia in sleeper buses Friday for Miami, where they will stay together in quarantine. The rest of the team remained in isolation at a hotel in Philadelphia.
With six teams idled Friday by the pandemic, commissioner Rob Manfred spoke to union leader Tony Clark about the importance of players following the sport’s coronavirus protocols.
Manfred and Clark talked about what needs to be done to finish the season, a person familiar with the conversation said. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
Experts say playing in arenas and stadiums with no fans can have a wide variety of effects on athletes. Some may perform better, others worse.
The conversation between Manfred and Clark, first reported by ESPN, comes amid growing evidence that the spread of infection threatens to overtake efforts to play ball.
“Some things aren’t looking too good right now, but we have to play up to that point. Players are seeing what can happen,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said.
The Phillies-Blue Jays series in Philadelphia was among two weekend series called off earlier. The Marlins were hit with a virus outbreak in Philadelphia, and both Miami and the Phillies are sidelined for at least a week.
The schedules of the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles have also been scrambled. Cleveland players and staff talked about postponing Friday night’s game at Minnesota but played on. The Cardinals had played at Target Field on Wednesday, a day before the Indians arrived.
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