A coronavirus outbreak that has caused nearly two dozen members of the Miami Marlins to test positive for the virus and left the club idle since July 26 may have been preventable.
Last week, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that an undisclosed number of Miami players were "careless" regarding MLB health and safety protocols following an exhibition game versus the Atlanta Braves. According to ESPN's Alden Gonzalez, Miami part-owner and CEO Derek Jeter defended his players on Monday afternoon but also admitted some "had a false sense of security and comfort" before the outbreak.
Jeter noted that false sense of security was more about players leaving the hotel, not being socially distant and not always wearing masks when congregating.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) August 3, 2020
Per Nightengale, Jeter added that teams around the league should view Miami's situation as a warning for what could happen if personnel don't follow the guidelines on and off the field.
Miami #Marlins CEO Derek Jeter: "I hope people see what happened to us and use that as a warning if you're not following the protocols 100%. You can't let your guard down. We’re battling something that is invisible.''— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 3, 2020
As of Monday afternoon, the Marlins are scheduled to begin a series versus the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.
Reports surfaced on Monday that at least a couple of St. Louis Cardinals players visited a casino before the club's season was put on hold after over a dozen people associated with the team tested positive for the virus. The Cardinals haven't played since last Wednesday and may not face an opponent until this Friday at the earliest.
While the NBA and NHL isolated teams inside bubble sites, MLB and the MLB Players Association are trusting that everyone involved with completing games will be on their best behavior as they travel around the country to compete at in-market ballparks. Both the Marlins and Cardinals offer proof of how quickly things can spiral out of control if players and coaches don't respect how rapidly COVID-19 can spread within a group.