Major League Baseball officials spent this week scrambling after the Miami Marlins experienced a coronavirus outbreak in their clubhouse during a weekend series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
In total, 16 players and two coaches have tested positive for the virus, forcing MLB to put the Marlins’ season on pause while dealing with a scheduling headache that’s affected the Phillies, Nationals, Orioles, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. Though the league reported Tuesday that no other teams outside of the Marlins have had a player test positive since Opening Day, one prominent star hopes MLB uses the outbreak as an opportunity to reevaluate its health protocols.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young winner and member of the Major League Baseball Players Association’s eight-player executive subcommittee. His voice carries a lot of weight across the sport and he is known for choosing his words carefully when speaking with the media. He opened up on the Marlins’ outbreak in Tuesday’s episode of The Ringer’s “R2C2” podcast and said he hopes MLB explores new ways of preventing the virus from spreading at team facilities.
“I also think this is where you got to start reevaluating the protocols,” Scherzer said. “OK, so if you have this big a spread and everybody’s wearing masks and you thought we had protocols to prevent this. OK, so how has this happened? You start thinking, ‘All right, this is aerosol spread. Do we need more air filters?’
“I’ve read stuff where you start talking about UVC light. Do you need to find a way to be able to disinfect areas like that? If this is aerosol based, yeah, this is a major challenge, but it’s also pretty fixable at the same time. So, are there ways that we can up the ante here in terms of making sure that there’s not a spread by any little thing that we can do?”
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The right-hander is interested to see how things change moving forward.
“For me, I’m fascinated, not that I’m fascinated. No one ever wants to ever see this happen,” Scherzer said. “But I’m more fascinated to see, how can we engineer around this? What are we going to be able to do to be able to prevent this in the future?
Washington will wrap up its series with the Blue Jays on Thursday before taking the weekend off as a result of the Marlins being unable to field a team. The Nationals will then resume playing Tuesday, when they play host to the New York Mets.
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