Games postponed

Two Mets Games Are Postponed Because of Coronavirus Cases – The New York Times

Baseball|Two Mets Games Are Postponed Because of Coronavirus Cases

Two positive tests for the virus within the organization led to the postponements of Thursday’s game in Miami and Friday’s game against the Yankees at Citi Field.

Credit…Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

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.”

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Cardinals-Brewers postponed

Cardinals-Brewers game postponed after two St. Louis players test positive for COVID-19 – CBS Sports

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Impact of Potential Brewers-Cardinals Postponement

The Friday series opener between the Cardinals and Brewers in Milwaukee has been postponed after two positive tests by St. Louis players. It’s the 15th MLB game that has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests just eight days into the 2020 season. The league intends to have the Brewers and Cardinals start their series on Saturday and hold a doubleheader on Sunday. Friday was originally set to be Milwaukee’s home opener.

The Cardinals said that the players were tested prior to Wednesday’s game against the Twins and they received the positive results late on Thursday night. The team also plans to conduct rapid testing of its traveling party. 

Here’s the team’s full statement from Friday:

The St. Louis Cardinals learned late last night that two players have tested positive for COVID-19 in testing that was conducted on Wednesday, July 29 prior to their game against the Twins in Minneapolis, and have instructed the team’s players and staff to self-isolate in their Milwaukee hotel rooms until further notice.

The team did not leave their hotel this morning for Miller Park. 

The Cardinals were scheduled to play the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon. Major League Baseball has announced that today’s game against the Brewers is scheduled to be made up as part of a double-header on Sunday, August 2 (1:10 p.m. CT).

The team is currently conducting rapid testing of the entire traveling party, has implemented contact tracing, and will continue to self-isolate.

According to Mark Saxon of The Athletic, two Cardinals pitchers have tested positive for the virus.

This is worrisome news for MLB on the obvious level that additional players or team personnel have tested positive for a virus that carries with it possible serious consequences. Beyond that, this also means that MLB is dealing with positive tests outside of the cluster within the Marlins, which caused the postponement of multiple games. This also marks the first time that MLB is dealing with positive tests outside of the East divisions. The Cardinals recently played the Twins, who in turn played Cleveland on Thursday. As such, these positive tests figure to have implications outside of the scheduled Friday game in Milwaukee.

Former Marlins president David Samson weighed in on MLB’s handling of the coronavirus on the latest episode of Nothing Personal with David Samson. Listen below:

Regardless of what specifics emerge, this is concerning news for MLB. The 2020 regular season is less than a week old, and already a sizable percentage of the league’s teams have seen their schedules impacted by positive tests. This sums up the current dilemma:

That’s not a promising indicator when it comes to the viability of playing a 60-game regular season and expanded playoffs as planned. The calendar was already crowded with games, which means little room to maneuver around case clusters and outbreaks, even small ones.

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parade postponed

With parade postponed and coronavirus cases rocketing, Putin pays a somber tribute to WWII dead – NBC News

MOSCOW — As coronavirus cases skyrocket in Russia, with more than 63,000 cases reported this week, President Vladimir Putin on Saturday presided over a muted 75th anniversary celebration of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Russia, like many countries across Europe, was preparing for a fanfare day of pageantry and military parades to mark the 75th anniversary of the Third Reich’s defeat.

For Putin, the day once held special significance as the high watermark of his nearly 20 years in power, with a large parade planned and high-profile international guests such as French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to attend.

“For all of us, this is our most important and grandest holiday. … The spiritual and moral significance of Victory Day remains invariably great, and our attitude toward it remains sacred,” Putin said at a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin walls on Saturday.

The Victory Day celebration was once a low-key and somber day of remembrance for the tens of millions who died fighting for the Soviet Union in World War II, marked with infrequent parades every few years.

Under Putin, it has been reinvented as an annual patriotic blowout, complete with nuclear missiles and tanks parading the streets under the cover of booming jets.

However, he was forced last month to call off most of the parade as the coronavirus pandemic spread across Russia. The large-scale parade has been postponed to later this year — likely in September to mark the end of the war in the Pacific. Russians had to be content with Air Force flyovers and fireworks.

“We will, as usual, mark the anniversary date widely and solemnly, and with dignity — as is our duty to those who have suffered, achieved and accomplished the victory,” Putin promised.

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Postponement of the ceremony was the second blow to the Russian leader, who had to call off an April 22 constitutional referendum that would have reset his presidential term and allowed him to stay in power until 2036 — in effect crowning him leader for life. But, as with this year’s Victory Day extravaganza, the coronavirus scuppered those plans.

Cases of the deadly virus have been climbing for more than a month in Russia, but in the lead-up to Victory Day, they exploded. Russia has reported more than 10,000 new cases every day for the last six days, according to official government statistics.

As of Saturday, Russia had reported 198,676 cases in total and just under 2,000 deaths.

The pandemic is now spreading faster there than in any other country aside from the United States, according to official statistics.

The government was initially slow to react, insisting through March that early action had prevented a large-scale outbreak. But by the end of March, the Kremlin moved to implement a monthlong stay-at-home order, which remains in place until May 12.

In Moscow, where about 50 percent of the nation’s outbreak is, most of the population will remain under a strict pass-enforced lockdown until May 31.

Low-key events to commemorate Victory Day — modern Russia’s most revered and politically significant holiday — did take place in Moscow and other major cities on Saturday. Putin, not wearing a face mask, laid flowers at the Eternal Flame outside the Kremlin. On Friday, he held calls with a number of world leaders, including with Britain’s Boris Johnson.

Many locked-down Russians will tune in to television Saturday night to watch artillery fireworks across cities including Moscow and St. Petersburg, as local leaders urge them to stay home to avoid spreading the virus during what is usually a busy weekend that sees city streets across the country reserved only for pedestrian traffic.

Though the coronavirus loomed large over the holiday, Putin did not make any overt references to the pandemic in his remarks.

The pandemic has turned into Putin’s greatest challenge since coming to power in 2000. Rather than celebrating his 20th year with grand coronations and bombastic military parades, he has seen his approval rating hit a historic low of 59 percent, according to a poll released this week by the independent Levada Center polling outfit.

Health care workers have been particularly critical of the government’s handling of the pandemic.

This month, images of two Russian doctors falling to their deaths from hospital windows dominated headlines and social media and brought the plight of front-line medical workers into sharp focus.

Frustrated health workers have raised the alarm over what they say are acute equipment shortages and poor procedures to control hospital outbreaks.

On April 28, Putin admitted there had been a shortage of personal protective equipment, such as masks, and ordered production to ramp up.

Others in Russia have taken a creative approach to vent their frustrations, attending online, virtual protests to display their discontent at a lack of work and the handling of the pandemic.

Celebrations in neighboring Belarus went ahead as planned on Saturday. A large parade, concert and fireworks are set to take place in the capital, Minsk, where President Alexander Lukashenko appears unfazed by the pandemic.

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