Yankees: Rob Manfred Should Be Ashamed for Letting Marlins Play Phillies Sunday Before NYY Arrival

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (Photo b Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (Photo b Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Rob Manfred let the Marlins decide if they were going to play in Philadelphia as an outbreak ravaged their clubhouse, just before the Yankees came to town.

The New York Yankees were all set to play the Phillies in Philadelphia on Monday night, kicking off their second series of the budding season.

But wait. Four members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday afternoon. Surely, that led to a cancellation of their game in Philly, a complete detox of the stadium grounds, and an all-out pause in MLB action and travel?

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Nope. Because, you see, the onus for playing that game somehow feel to the rest of the Marlins, who are not public health experts. They saw a prideful opportunity to prove their worth in the heat of battle with the odds stacked against them, and not one final last-ditch preventative measure.

But they played. Rob Manfred, the sole individual imbued with the power to cancel the game, let them play.

And now the Marlins plane is grounded in Philly, the team has 10 more positive tests, and Manfred has to make his first big decision about somehow continuing a season after their non-bubble burst less than a week in.

Yes, the teams are now taking precautions.

The Phillies clubhouse staff will not be serving the Yankees this week. The Yanks won’t be staying at the same hotel the Marlins did, either. But New York will be facing off against Didi Gregorius and a roster of 25 old friends who all just spent a weekend tagging, holding on, and batting in front of MLB’s first genuine outbreak. How can you trust any of that?

And, aside from health concerns for the team, how can Manfred morally allow this to continue? Just because the Yankees won’t be sharing a hotel with the Marlins doesn’t mean an entire hotel staff wasn’t just exposed to the contamination.

We’ll surely never hear a peep about any of them.

A bubble system was never viable in MLB — and, after all, the two areas with any semblance of enough infrastructure were Florida and Arizona, two of the biggest coronavirus epicenters in America.

It seems quite likely, though, that whatever this is wasn’t viable either, in large part due to the country’s poor handling of the virus at large. Rob Manfred didn’t choose to reopen prematurely, or offer indoor dining in this country’s hardest-hit areas.

But he did allow the Miami Marlins to choose their own fate instead of intervening at his league’s first inflection point, and it could — and should — cost him the season he worked so hard to cancel for financial reasons months ago.

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