Baseball|Two Mets Games Are Postponed Because of Coronavirus Cases
The annual Subway Series was bound to feel different this season without fans jamming the ballparks in Queens and the Bronx. Now, it faces uncertainty for a troubling reason: One Mets player and one staff member have tested positive for coronavirus.
Major League Baseball postponed the Mets’ game in Miami on Thursday and Friday’s opener of their series with the Yankees at Citi Field. The Mets did not identify the people who tested positive but said both people and anyone found to have been in close contact with them would stay behind in Miami.
The Mets said the rest of the team would fly back to New York on Thursday night while following safety and testing protocols.
The Mets become the fourth team to have a player test positive since the truncated season began on July 23. The Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals have had large-scale outbreaks (20 overall positive cases for the Marlins; 18 for the Cardinals), and the Cincinnati Reds had one positive test last Saturday. The Marlins missed a week of games, the Cardinals missed two weeks, and the Reds had three postponements.
M.L.B. did not issue all those postponements at once; in each case, the teams had a longer break than the league initially announced. Based on those precedents, it is safe to wonder if any Subway Series games will be played this weekend.
“I don’t know,” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said after Thursday’s loss to Tampa Bay. “All they’ve told us is that tomorrow night’s is canceled. I’m sure they’re trying to get their arms around it and see where we go from here.”
The Mets are scheduled for another three-game series with the Yankees in the Bronx next weekend, and postponed games could be made up then with doubleheaders, with each of the games being only seven innings this season.
“I’ll feel safe if it gets to the point where we’re playing,” Boone said. “I will feel like the due diligence is done and safety is the first priority.”
The Mets were not the only team affected by the virus on Thursday. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ president, Travis Williams, announced that he had tested positive for coronavirus but had not had recent contact with players, coaches or baseball operations staff. Williams said in a statement that the team had enacted contact tracing procedures.
John Mozeliak, the Cardinals’ president of baseball operations, said contact tracing would be “the most important thing” for the Mets as they try to prevent a larger outbreak.
“You’ve got to have people willing to be honest and transparent of who they were connected with,” Mozeliak said on Thursday. “Part of what you see in sports is the shaming of, ‘Oh, you brought it into the clubhouse,’ and so then all of a sudden you lose a little bit of that transparency and honesty you need to totally get your hands on it.
“So my advice is: Don’t shame anybody. It’s not a finger-pointing incident — it’s really about helping mitigate spread as best you can.”