“If there’s any group that understands the seriousness of what we’re dealing with, it’s our group, because we’ve seen how it’s gone through our clubhouse,” Jeter said. “We’ve talked to our guys once again about the importance of being disciplined on the road. We’ve talked to them over and over again. In terms of giving them warnings, they’ve seen it. It comes down to discipline. I don’t think there’s any secret formula for a team to be successful through this. You have to be extremely disciplined.”
The Coronavirus Outbreak
Sports and the Virus
Updated Aug. 4, 2020
Here’s what’s happening as the world of sports slowly comes back to life:
- As the virus spreads through baseball, so does frustration. Series have been postponed, teams have been quarantined and road trips have been rerouted in a season that has been defined above all by its precariousness.
- On all but the two biggest courts, automated line calls will replace human judges at the U.S. Open to reduce the number of people on site during the pandemic.
- Mets star Yoenis Cespedes is healthy, but has decided to opt out of the 2020 baseball season for Covid-related reasons.
The Marlins’ infected players took a bus home to Miami over the weekend, before the rest of the team left Philadelphia — at last — for Baltimore on Sunday night. To fill out the roster, Michael Hill, the Marlins’ president of baseball operations, brought in six new players and promoted several others, including Eddy Alvarez, a 30-year-old infielder who won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics as a short-track speedskater and has never played in the majors.
“In our jobs, we always plan for Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, and that’s normally one or two players at a time,” Hill said. “To encounter the numbers that we had to place on the injured list and respond to that has been a challenge.”
The Marlins’ crisis also affected the Phillies, who stayed idle for a week as they underwent extensive testing. A coach and a clubhouse staffer tested positive, but no Phillies players have. First baseman Rhys Hoskins acknowledged Monday that players sometimes wondered if the league was being overly cautious in sidelining them, but he stopped short of blaming the Marlins.
“Look, I think everyone would be lying if they said they weren’t frustrated, but we knew the volatility of the virus coming into the season, and we knew these things were a possibility,” Hoskins said. “Not ideal, but here we are. We get to play again. We’re getting ready to — hopefully — continuously play throughout the rest of the season.”
Phillies Manager Joe Girardi said he wondered how sharp his players would be after another unexpected layoff in a year now full of them. Yet he said he felt empathy for the Marlins, not resentment.
“I don’t think it’s something they tried to go out and do,” Girardi said. “There’s 18 players that are affected, and they all want to play and they can’t play for at least two weeks. So I feel for what they’re going through; to have to ride home on a sleeper bus, and their healthy guys probably wondering every day, ‘Am I going to be sick tomorrow? Am I going to be shut down?’ They were locked up in a hotel, basically.