MLB puts Mar­lins’ sea­son on hold through Sun­day

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY STEVEN WINE

MI­AMI — Ma­jor League Base­ball sus­pended the Mar­lins’ sea­son through Sun­day, the Phillies will re­main idled by the coro­n­avirus pan­demic un­til Friday and the rest of base­ball forges ahead with trep­i­da­tion.

‘‘There’s real fear, there’s real anx­i­ety for me, for all my team­mates,’’ Brew­ers slug­ger Ryan Braun said Tues­day. ‘‘I think we’ve found it very dif­fi­cult to fo­cus on base­ball at all the last cou­ple of days.’’

In the wake of a virus out­break that in­fected half the Mar­lins’ team, Braun said play­ers con­stantly are as­sess­ing whether they should keep play­ing. In­fec­tious-dis­ease ex­pert Dr. An­thony Fauci said the sea­son might be in jeop­ardy.

But MLB came up with a patch­work sched­ule for the rest of this week and said that among more than 6,400 tests con­ducted since Friday, there were no new pos­i­tives in­volv­ing on-field per­son­nel from any team other than the Mar­lins.

In a state­ment, MLB said it wanted to al­low the Mar­lins time to fo­cus on pro­vid­ing care for their play­ers and to plan for a re­sump­tion of play early next week. MLB also post­poned the three re­main­ing games of the Yan­kees-Phillies se­ries.

The Mar­lins re­mained stranded in Philadel­phia, where they played last week­end. The Yan­kees-Phillies games were post­poned ‘‘out of an abun­dance of cau­tion,’’ MLB said, although no Phillies play­ers have tested pos­i­tive.

The Mar­lins re­ceived pos­i­tive test re­sults for four more play­ers, bring­ing their to­tal to 15, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion told the As­so­ci­ated Press. The per­son de­clined to be iden­ti­fied be­cause the re­sults had not been re­leased.

Nine play­ers on the 30-man ros­ter, two taxi-squad play­ers and two staff mem­bers had tested pos­i­tive ear­lier.

The Mar­lins had been sched­uled to play the Ori­oles in Bal­ti­more on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day. In­stead, the Yan­kees will visit the Ori­oles on those days.

The Mar­lins’ three home games this week­end against the Na­tion­als also were post­poned. Na­tion­als play­ers had voted against mak­ing the trip, man­ager Dave Martinez said.

‘‘We all de­cided that it was prob­a­bly un­safe to go there,’’ Martinez said. ‘‘It had noth­ing to do with the Mi­ami Mar­lins. It was all about Mi­ami and the state of Florida, this pan­demic. They didn’t feel safe.’’

The Mar­lins un­der­went an­other round of tests Tues­day as their out­break raised new ques­tions about MLB’s at­tempts to con­duct a sea­son.

‘‘This could put it in dan­ger,’’ Fauci said on ABC’s ‘‘Good Morn­ing Amer­ica.’’ ‘‘I don’t be­lieve they need to stop, but we just need to fol­low this and see what hap­pens with other teams on a day-by-day ba­sis.’’

His com­ments came be­fore word of the Mar­lins’ lat­est test re­sults.

‘‘Ma­jor League Base­ball — the play­ers, the own­ers, the man­agers — have put a lot of effort into get­ting to­gether and putting pro­to­cols that we feel would work,’’ Fauci said. ‘‘It’s very un­for­tu­nate what hap­pened with the [Mar­lins].’’

CHRIS SZAGOLA/AP

The Mar­lins have had 15 play­ers and two staff mem­bers test pos­i­tive for COVID-19.

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