A “vast majority” of players on the Nationals have voted against the team traveling to Miami for their weekend series against the Marlins, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday. The decision to postpone or relocate the series lies in the hands of Major League Baseball.
The Marlins have had 15 players and two staff members test positive for the coronavirus since Opening Day, forcing MLB to postpone both their games against the Baltimore Orioles as well as two games between Miami’s weekend opponent, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the New York Yankees. Though no Phillies have reportedly tested positive since, the incubation period of the virus could allow individuals to still carry it even while testing negative.
According to Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan, the Nationals hope to play all 60 games this season and believe staying away from Miami—a COVID-19 hotspot—is their best chance at doing so. But rather than cancel or postpone the games, they are hoping MLB moves the series to another city. The Marlins played their opening series in Philadelphia, where many players still remain while they isolate.
Manager Davey Martinez and GM Mike Rizzo led the meeting and organized the vote, per Sports Illustrated's Stephanie Apstein. Both Rizzo and Martinez have been vocal about their concerns with MLB's health protocols and playing amid the pandemic.
The Nationals have one confirmed player who’s tested positive for the coronavirus in leftfielder Juan Soto. Following a training camp during which he spent most of the time isolating after being exposed to the virus on a flight from the Dominican Republic, Soto found out he tested positive just hours before the Nationals were set to host the Yankees on Opening Night.
Nationals manager Davey Martinez said Monday that Soto tested negative once but still needs to receive a second negative result 24 hours apart before he can be cleared to play.
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