The return of Major League Baseball took a troubling turn on Monday when a looming threat became reality: an outbreak of positive coronavirus tests within a team.
While league officials said there were no plans to suspend or cancel the season — which began just last Thursday — two games were postponed Monday after the Miami Marlins learned that at least 14 members of the team’s traveling party, including 12 players, had tested positive for the virus.
The Marlins’ games against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday and Tuesday were postponed, as was the Yankees’ game on Monday in Philadelphia, where the Marlins spent the weekend.
“The health of our players and staff has been and will continue to be our primary focus as we navigate through these uncharted waters,” Derek Jeter, the Marlins’ chief executive, said in a statement, adding that the team needed to “take a collective pause and try to properly grasp the totality of this situation.”
For many Americans, the long-delayed return of baseball was a sign of normalcy during a pandemic that has shut down much of the nation and thrown daily activities into disarray. Even without fans in the stands, the league’s return had seemed like a triumph, or at least a comforting sight, after more than four months with a largely shuttered sports landscape.