Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter met with the media over Zoom in an attempt to explain just how his team experienced a COVID-19 outbreak during Opening Week while in Philadelphia.
During the three-game series against the Phillies, the Marlins had over half their active roster test positive for coronavirus, which forced them to quarantine in the City of Brotherly Love last week.
It is believed that the Marlins outbreak originated from lax behavior while in Atlanta for an exhibition matchup before the start of the 2020 season.
While a team investigation exposed that to be true, Jeter set the record straight as to how it happened.
“We continue to hear and read about rumors about our players’ actions in Atlanta and we need to stop that. Our team and our players deserve better than that,” Jeter said. “As I mention, these guys are sick. Our guys were not running around town after a game in Atlanta. I need to ask that that stops. They don’t deserve that.”
Public opinion suggested that Marlins players were galavanting around Atlanta, going to bars and partying when in fact, Jeter’s investigation discovered quite the opposite, saying it’s impossible to say that is where the outbreak began.
“We did have a couple of individuals leave the hotel. In our review, it was determined that we had guys leave to get coffee, to get clothes, they left to have dinner at a teammates’ house,” he said. “There were no other guests on-site. There’s no salacious activity, there’s no hanging out at bars, no clubs and no running around Atlanta.”
“What it boiled down to on this particular trip were guys were around each other, they got relaxed and they let their guard down. They were getting together in groups, they weren’t wearing masks, and they weren’t social distancing. The entire travel party got a little too comfortable. Should they have been doing that? No. But that has been addressed.”
Further controversy arose when the Marlins had four outbreaks during their series with the Phillies in Philadelphia — including three on the morning of Sunday’s series finale on Jul. 26 — and they decided to play while knowing of those positive tests.
Jeter confirmed that was the case, but it wasn’t the Marlins’ secret. He added that everyone — including the Phillies — was aware of Miami’s positive tests. Them, the Phillies, and Major League Baseball all decided to play that day.
The fallout of such a decision saw the Phillies’ season paused for roughly one week as their series against the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays was canceled.
They finally returned to action on Monday night in the Bronx against the Yankees having played six games fewer than the majority of the National League.
Meanwhile, the Marlins are set to play the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday as they try to help MLB settle back into a groove this 60-game schedule.