Major League Baseball learned this week of a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak inside the Miami Marlins clubhouse. Nine members of the organization yielded positive results at the conclusion of a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The team’s total number of cases has since increased to 21 (with 18 being players) after subsequent testing. To no surprise, all of Miami’s games have been postponed at least through Sunday.
For the Phillies, they are also in a holding pattern. The club’s home-and-home series against the New York Yankees was pushed back and eventually postponed as well. On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Marlins, Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals all didn’t play due to virus-related reasons.
With a handful of teams’ schedules being affected, there are questions being raised about the integrity of the 2020 season. Even if MLB is able to crown a champion at the end of the year, some may be skeptical of the legitimacy of the tile.
Several Los Angeles Dodgers players have dismissed that notion, with Joc Pederson the latest to do so. “I think it is what it is,” he said. “We’re supposed to play 162 (games). We are not playing 162, we are playing 60. Some teams aren’t playing 60 because of health concerns. It is what it is. We’re all doing our best to prepare every day to win a World Series.
“When it becomes playoff time, those games are going to be just as intense. It’s a tough question, but the winner this year and has a World Series ring, there shouldn’t be an asterisk by it.
“I mean, they’re not cheating their way to get there, you know what I mean? We’re playing under the rules that were given to us and amount of games that were allowed. That’s out of our control. Let the best team win, I guess.”
Dodgers get best of Astros
The second half of Pederson’s comments seemingly were a shot at the Houston Astros, who electronically stole signs during their 2017 World Series run.
The organization faced punishment this past offseason, but many around the league felt it was too light. Astros players were granted immunity from suspensions and the club’s title was not vacated.
The Dodgers, in their first trip to Minute Maid Park since Game 5 of the 2017 World Series, took care of business against the Astros, sweeping them in a two-game series.
The matchup didn’t come without fireworks, as Joe Kelly had some words for Carlos Correa after striking him out in the opening contest. Benches cleared, and the right-hander was ultimately handed down an eight-game suspension, which he is appealing.
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