Marlins ESPN FIRST TAKE | Marlins canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak resulting in at least 14 cases infected
Thank you so much for being with us. This morning, on such short notice, please talk to me about your reaction and the impact of this latest news. Yeah it’s devastating molly, not just devastating for the miami marlins, for the players who have tested positive but potentially for the major league baseball season as well, because this is the worst case scenario coming to life in the first weekend of the season. Let’S remember just a couple days ago: there were all the good feelings of opening day and what a baseball season could mean and now rob manfred. The commissioner has the question: do we even continue with this, and if so, how do we prevent something like this from happening again, because it started with one player testing positive about 72 hours ago, then yesterday, three more players tested positive and when the tests were done Last night on the rest of the club, eight of them came back positive among the players that is 40 percent of their roster. They are stuck in philadelphia right now, not going to be at their home opener down in miami and the question really is: how long are they going to be there and how do they continue the season, not just the miami marlins, but all of major league baseball Max or bomani do you guys want to jump in here? Well, yeah.
I mean, i think the most confusing thing about this is: did major league baseball not have a clear plan for what would happen if this happened, because as much as this worst case scenario, it was foreseeable if they foresee it yeah this? Is it boggles my mind that anyone at any point ever so i understand politicians and irresponsible leaders in an election year say a lot of stupid things that a lot of gullible people can believe, but you would think like titans of industry who have you know billions Of dollars at stake would understand, well, that’s, wishful thinking and and then we’re, on the other hand, dealing with a pandemic right, but apparently everyone’s susceptible to that kind of wishful thinking.
There is no way, as dr fauci said, by the way, and it shouldn’t take a a a a a health expert to understand this. There is no way to complete a month’s long season involving dozens of people on either team, including support staff in close contact with each other. If you don’t have a some sort of a bubble in the absence of a vaccine and then scaled up to a vaccination, if that’s not available and you don’t have a bubble, the odds of completing your season are virtually zero. The odds of completing your season with a bubble like the nba, even if you do everything right and you have very little to go just a post season – the odds are not a hundred percent or anywhere near there, there’s still a good chance.
They won’t be able to finish, but at least you can be cautiously optimistic that the mba can actually get it done, but major league baseball, and it makes me think of the nfl too. You have got to be kidding. What did they think was gon na happen. Bomani just said it like: this is not unforeseeable. This is quite foreseeable, max hold that thought right there, because i it brought me to the nfl as well, and i want to get into that. But we have to let jeff go in a minute, because he has clearly a lot to do. It’S going to be a busy day for him, but jeff before we let you go.
I just want to ask you this. We saw this in soccer right down in orlando fc dallas had to drop out. Could you ever see a situation like that where we continue on charge on with the season, but the miami marlins just will not finish it. Yeah that’s certainly a possibility molly and i think, that’s. What major league baseball is discussing right now and it’s going to be interesting to see how rob manfred the commissioner handles this today? He has to come out and address this and address this, not just for the miami marlins but addresses for the sport writ large. What does this mean and it because in their 113 page operations manual, that has all kinds of protocols in place? There is nothing in there that talks about how to handle a situation like this, where you have an outbreak of 12 players and two coaches.
One of this size, what there is, is something that says the commissioner has the discretion. If the competitive integrity of the game is impugned to pause or shut down the season – and this is something that’s really threatening the competitive integrity at very least of the national league – east division right now and potentially the entirety of major league baseball jeff. Pascal, thank you. So much for the insight. Okay, go ahead, max jeff, what the yankees do now, who, like? What do teams do? You have games scheduled coming up where there was just a covet outbreak, yeah uh? Well, the new york yankees max brought their own clubhouse staff and personnel down to philadelphia because they wanted no part of the visiting clubhouse staff that had just been around the miami marlins players.
And does that mean that the yankees are still going to be comfortable? Going into that philadelphia, phillies visiting clubhouse, where there were at least 11 players over the last 48 hours, who we know now are coveted positive. I would be shocked if that game is played in philadelphia tonight and someone just texted me before i came on with you guys saying: hey: is there a possibility? They could move that game to the bronx? I suppose it’s possible – i mean fluidity – is really important in this moment if you want to actually play games. But with news like this, the question becomes the appetite of major league baseball to play games and whether it needs to step back and pause and say let’s.
Consider what this means not just for right now, but for the future of the sport as we try to go on a lot of complicated logistical decisions, bomani we’re actually going to let jeff go and then we’re going to get into the nfl. So jeff we’ll continue to talk to you all day here on espn. Thank you so much for being with us and continuing to keep us up to speed on the latest here with the breaking news that the marlins have cancelled their game bomani. Now i want to come to you on this, and that is the nfl, because that’s, ultimately, where our minds go, how can a sport like the nfl without a bubble situation, more players, more contact charge on with the season when we’re already seeing this with the miami Marlins, because there are the dolphins, there are the tampa bay bucks what’s, your response.
To that i mean it seems impossible for the nfl to be able to pull this off. At least from here. I am not a scientist. I’M, just know that all the precautions i’m willing to take in my own life are the opposite of playing football, and i understand why we get so locked in on what the nfl is going to do. But i think a far more important question is not what the nfl is going to do, but what in the world is college football going to do because at least the nfl players have some measure of organization where they can push back? If something goes bad, those powerless underpaid excuse me not paid at all players in college football.
These are the people that we need to be worried about right now, as this goes on, because nothing about football seems to be in line with all the precautions that we need to be able to take, and those guys have nobody looking out for them. So everybody’s going to try to make this work, but as long as players are leaving the facility and then going back into a world of a pandemic, i just don’t see how they’re actually going to be able to make it work. They might start, but i think it’s more important to finish. I think it’s doubtful, whether college football starts. I will tell you: there is zero percent chance, as i’ve said since the beginning that college football can finish its season in the apps.
Even if the vaccine was found today, you can’t scale up to a vaccination that’s available to enough people in time. To finish your college football season, or probably even start it, this is, i know people feel like. We live in a post, truth, world right and that’s the whole point of disinformation and what we’ve seen in our politics? Well, you dispute it so much that uh. This is what putin does right. You dispute every fact so much that people throw up their heads say. Oh, what is the truth? I guess there is no truth. Wow a pandemic has a way of cutting through all that stuff. Right i mean yeah. There is a the fact of the matter and all the wishful thinking in the world doesn’t change it.
The nfl has not been serious about finishing their season, not been serious from anything. They’Ve said that i’ve heard i thought wow that’s someone who’s serious about finishing a season, no, not at all college football’s in a dream world it’s just never going to happen. Major league baseball. I will say this and i’m generally pro labor, if the labor union, if the mlbpa was the problem here in terms of accepting bubble conditions, then it’s likely they won’t be paid on this season right, i mean like here’s the thing that the nba did so well And they were an advantage because their season was almost over adam silver took a hard look. He realized everyone’s going to take medicine right now.
They don’t want to take the players. You can’t be around your family. You have to be in a bubble. You can’t go. Come and go as you please: it has to be strict testing, etc, or we can’t do this, and even then, but if major league baseball players are like no, we don’t accept the bubble, guys just to get the teams pluses, the support staff and everything it’s. A hundred people, what do you think is going to happen and and football molly, as you mentioned, it’s a tackle but a full contact, sport and there’s twice as many people as baseball it’s, a joke like they either either baseball and especially football now, because they still Have time get serious right now come up with a couple, different bubbles or some serious plans, but i’m telling you right now: zero percent chance they will finish their season, but max one thing.
I think we have to keep in mind in this and it’s easy for us to forget this if they don’t finish the season. The worst problem with that is not the fact that the season didn’t end. The big problem with that is that a whole lot of people got sick under those conditions like we need to keep in mind here that these long term damages that the disease seems to be causing people. This could have effect on these leagues for years. If one of our best players or a bunch of them wind up having long term vascular damage because of this disease, this isn’t just going to be about 20 20.
. This is going to be about really a long period of time where we may see a decrease in the quality of play because of the damage that covet 19 is doing right now, so everybody has to decide how important is this short term money, and i understand The short term money is really important, but how many players and coaches are we going to be willing to sacrifice in the name of getting this money right now, that’s very good, and it brings to mind sports molly during wartime and i’m thinking, especially of baseball. You know in the second world war, most major league baseball stars who went it was really an issue of they missed time there weren’t that many people, like ted williams in the career, where anything like you know, fighting you know flying fighter missions and stuff like that.
Most most of the issue in the second world war for major league baseball players, although yogi berra and them stormed the beach at normandy. All that stuff um was that they missed this many years of their career right and – and that was a situation where people felt very good about our participation in in you know, an important in the world saving kind of event. This was a largely avoidable situation, where it’s worse here than anywhere in the world, because irresponsible leadership and when you look at the leadership, the so called leadership in major league baseball and the nfl and college football, you see avoidable circumstances and people walking directly into the Line of fire only the nba right now looks good, no question and bomani i’m.
So glad that you brought that up, because none of us clearly are doctors here, any type of medical professionals, but the lingering effects are very scary, there’s still so much. We don’t know but we’re hearing people that are continuing to have problems with brain fog and recall and respiratory issues and fatigue, so it’s, very scary and those impacts, like you talked about, could be affecting players well down the road beyond their. You know two week period when they’re in a complete quarantine. So a lot to consider here and we’re talking about finishing seasons, forget finishing seasons: how about starting a season. This is the home opener for the marlins.