With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…
• In breaking news this morning, ESPN reports that "the Miami Marlins' home opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night has been canceled … as coronavirus cases continue to pop up among the team."
According to the story, "Eight more players and two coaches with the Marlins have tested positive for coronavirus, as an outbreak has spread throughout their clubhouse and brought the total of cases in recent days to at least 14, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.
"The Marlins remain in Philadelphia and continue to undergo testing after their weekend series there.
"On Sunday, four Marlins players tested positive for the coronavirus, including that day's starter, Jose Urena, according to sources familiar with the situation, leading the team to delay its postgame trip home amid concerns about a possible outbreak."
Here's the kicker from the ESPN story: "It's possible that the infections occurred Wednesday on the team's trip to and from Atlanta, where the Marlins played the Braves in an exhibition game."
Of course, the Braves then came to New York to play the Mets over the weekend. How long before the same problem erupts in the Braves clubhouse, and the Mets clubhouse?
Of course, the Braves are supposed to play Tampa Bay in Atlanta now for a four-game series, and then host the Mets for a home series. And the Mets? Well, they're supposed to host the Boston Red Sox for a series at Citi Field before going to Atlanta, and then the Red Sox are supposed play the Yankees in New York.
Y'think any of these teams are having trepidations about making these trips and taking the field…?
• The Toronto Blue Jays finally have a temporary home for the pandemic-shorted 2020 Major League Baseball Season.
Buffalo. At Sahlen Field, where the Blue Jays' Tripe-A affiliate plays. (Not this year, though. Minor league baseball has been cancelled because of the pandemic.)
The Blue Jays couldn't play at home, because the Canadian government ruled that going back and forth between Canada and the Us would heighten the chances that the coronavirus would be spread.
The Wall Street Journal writes that the decision is at odds with the team's preference to play in a major league ballpark. "Baseball’s top executives tried. They received permission from local officials to share PNC Park with the Pittsburgh Pirates, only for Gov. Tom Wolf to quash the plan because of an increase in cases in Southwestern Pennsylvania. They explored a partnership with the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, but that possibility fell through as well … They theoretically could have gone to TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla., their spring training site, but that meant sending a third team to Florida, a virus hot spot."
The Miami Marlins story must have the Canadian health officials who ruled that the Blue Jays couldn't play their home schedule in Toronto feeling vindicated.