When Major League Baseball began its season two weeks ago, the Philadelphia Phillies were following all of the league's protocols to conduct as safe of a season possible in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the Phillies were one of two teams that went this past week without playing any games. Philadelphia had six consecutive contests postponed after the Miami Marlins, the Phillies' opening weekend opponent, had a major COVID-19 outbreak within the organization. As a result, 18 Miami players tested positive for the virus. The Phils' traveling party was required to undergo additional testing as a result.
On Sunday, Philadelphia manager Joe Girardi admitted he was frustrated by the situation, but did not blame the Marlins for the outbreak. Outfielder Andrew McCutchen had a different stance on the matter.
"I was upset at everything that’s transpired through that — whoever decided to step out or not necessarily follow the health and safety protocol," McCutchen said on the latest edition of The Athletic’s Starkville podcast.
"That upset me. What made me angry was that we, as the Phillies — we were the ones that ended up having to pay for that," McCutchen said. "We followed all of the health and safety protocols. We knew that was important. We understood that’s what we needed to do to be able to play this game. And we did everything right. And we paid for it."
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The Marlins had multiple players test positive before the opening weekend Sunday finale occurred, according to multiple reports, yet they still decided to play. Plus, some members of the Marlins organization reportedly went out in Atlanta prior to the outbreak.
For McCutchen, who missed most of the 2019 season after suffering a torn ACL, not being able to play while the rest of the league was what impacted him the most.
“And so for me, that was upsetting. I’m sitting here at home, watching 28 to 27 to 26 other teams play, and we’re sitting at home — all (testing) negative by the way," McCutchen said. "And we have to watch this happen while we did nothing wrong. So for me, that was very upsetting. It was very upsetting that we did everything right, and we were still the ones paying for it."
Unfortunately for McCutchen and the Phillies, the team's return to action will last just one game. Philadelphia's scheduled Tuesday matchup with the Yankees has already been postponed due to incoming tropical storm Isaias.
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