The Orioles made it through three games before COVID-19 impacted their schedule and perhaps a truncated season.
Tonight’s game with the Marlins in Miami has been canceled, with confirmation coming from a team official.
The clubs were supposed to play twice in Miami before the home-and-home series shifted to Baltimore. But at least 14 Marlins have tested positive, including 12 players, according to an ESPN report.
Major League Baseball’s greatest fear is coming to fruition. An outbreak shortly after starting the season.
The Marlins played yesterday in Philadelphia despite having four players test positive, including starting pitcher José Ureña. Their flight to Miami was pushed back to this morning and later canceled.
They used a visiting clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park that the Yankees are supposed to occupy tonight. Stadium personnel will spend the day fumigating it.
The implications are far-reaching.
So far, no other games have been postponed or removed from the schedule.
Update: The game between the Yankees and Phillies also has been canceled.
What happens next for the Orioles is unclear.
Are they stuck in Miami or can they fly back to Baltimore? Does the series shift to Camden Yards, with perhaps a doubleheader played on Tuesday? Do the Marlins forfeit the games and go into a full quarantine?
I’m told that it’s all “to be determined.” The Orioles are processing today’s news and waiting for instructions.
MLB is attempting to play a 60-game schedule and hold expanded playoffs, but it’s already reached a crisis point in less than a week.
I’ll update this story later today.
Update II: The games officially are postponed instead of canceled. Here’s a statement from MLB:
“Tonight’s scheduled games between the Miami Marlins and the Baltimore Orioles at Marlins Park and the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees at Citizens Bank Park have been postponed while Major League Baseball conducts additional COVID-19 testing. The members of the Marlins’ traveling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcome of those results. Major League Baseball has been coordinating with the Major League Baseball Players Association; the Marlins; the Orioles; the Marlins’ weekend opponent, the Phillies; and club medical staffs, and will continue to provide updates as appropriate.”
Update III: The Orioles are flying back to Baltimore tonight, according to multiple reports. They won’t be playing the Marlins on Tuesday night in Miami.
Update IV: The team has passed along its plans to fly back to Baltimore tonight.
The question now is whether the Marlins are cleared to board a bus from Philadelphia to Baltimore and serve as the home team Tuesday night at Camden Yards. Can they avoid a quarantine and does the state of Maryland allow it?
That’s more than one question.