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MLB pauses Marlins' season after half the team gets COVID-19 and Nationals refuse to play them
The Miami Marlins celebrate their Opening Day win against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Friday in Philadelphia. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

MLB pauses Marlins' season after half the team gets COVID-19 and Nationals refuse to play them

Season crumbling?

After roughly half of the Miami Marlins' active roster tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days, Major League Baseball has paused the season for the Marlins and the last team they played, the Philadelphia Phillies, CBS Sports reported.

Reports show that between 17 and 19 members of the Marlins, including 15 players, have tested positive for COVID-19. The situation created some hesitance on the part of the Washington Nationals, who were set to play the Marlins in Miami this weekend.

From the New York Post:

The Post's Joel Sherman confirms that a majority of Washington Nationals players voted against traveling to Miami to play a scheduled three-game series this weekend as the Marlins deal with a coronavirus outbreak within their team. The Nationals are waiting on MLB's response to the team's request to not play there. Sherman reports the vote was more of a suggestion than a demand, and that the team may still play if the games remain in Miami as scheduled.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez expressed fear about how things were progressing on the Marlins.

"I'm going to be honest with you, I'm scared," Martinez said. "I really am. I go from here, home, back here every day, that's all I do. I wash my hands, I went from 47 times a day to probably 99 times a day. Wear my mask everywhere I go. But there's always that concern, you know.

"You don't know, because of my heart condition, what happens to me if I do get it," Martinez continued. "I have to be extra careful. With that said, sometimes I tend to put myself aside and worry about other people more than me. I think that's why I'm here, because I worry about those guys before I put myself first."

With the suspension of the Marlins' season, the Nationals may now have the weekend off, and MLB will do some schedule shifting to account for the Phillies and the Marlins being isolated for a currently-undefined period of time. CBS Sports reported that the Marlins won't be back until at least Aug. 3, and the Phillies can't come back earlier than Friday, depending on test results:

In an effort to minimize disruption to the season while containing the outbreak, MLB will revise the schedule and isolate the Marlins and Phillies for a period of time, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. Both clubs are currently undergoing additional testing and it's unclear when they will be able to play again, especially the Marlins, who have lost half their active roster.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said league executives and team owners have not had serious discussions yet about canceling the season, and absent any more major developments, the other teams will continue playing while observing precautions and continuing regular testing.

The league will reportedly attempt to make up for missed games later in the season, by playing doubleheaders or eliminating some off days.

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