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Elephant Rumblings: Marlins home opener canceled after barrage of positive coronavirus tests

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

MLB news roundup

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The 2020 MLB season got started last weekend, and for Oakland A’s fans it was everything we’d hoped for after an extra four-month wait for baseball. However, everyone has always known that this campaign still lies in a precarious position, with the coronavirus pandemic remaining prevalent throughout the country and threatening to shut things down again at any moment.

That worst-case possibility has already shown the first signs of emerging. The Miami Marlins, playing in one of the biggest virus hotspots in the nation, have reported over a dozen positive tests for coronavirus among their 33 players (roster plus taxi squad) and staff, including between nine and 11 players. The first four were reported Sunday, with the rest coming to light Monday morning.

As a result of this outbreak, the Marlins home opener Monday against the Orioles has been postponed. In addition, the team they were playing against last weekend, the Phillies, also had their Monday home opener (against the Yankees) set back as a precaution.

This is the first real test of the viability of this season. Can this outbreak be contained, without spreading, and without effectively removing one or more teams from the 2020 season? Missing two weeks for quarantine is nearly a full quarter of the schedule, which begins to really challenge the competitive integrity of the game.

There were also a couple reminders of how serious the disease is. Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez is dealing with heart complications after his bout with the virus, and D’Backs international scout Johan Maya passed away last week at age 40.

For now there is still baseball. Hopefully that continues to last because everyone stays safe and healthy.

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