Marlins Decided to Play vs. Phillies via Group Text amid Positive COVID-19 Tests

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2020

Miami Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas in action during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Philadelphia. The Phillies won 7-1. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Despite knowing multiple players had tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins players decided via group text messages they would play.

Manager Don Mattingly said infielder Miguel Rojas led the group text. 

"He's kind of an unofficial team captain of our club," Mattingly said, per Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "He's always texting the group and getting the feelings of the group. So when we're dealing with situations or things, that's usually who we're working through."

Rojas said the Marlins never considered opting out of the game.

“That was never the mentality,” Rojas said. “We knew that this would happen at some point. We came to the ballpark and we were ready to play. That was never our thought that we weren’t going to play.”

Major League Baseball postponed Miami's scheduled home opener Monday against the Baltimore Orioles after at least 14 team members (12 players, two coaches) tested positive for COVID-19. All of those players and coaches were positive for COVID for Sunday's game; 10 of those people were at the ballpark, potentially putting members of the Phillies at risk. 

MLB also postponed Monday's scheduled game between the Phillies and New York Yankees as they await test results. The Phillies have quarantined members of their visiting dugout staff as they await test results as well.

That the Marlins chose to play Sunday was irresponsible, at best. If the Phillies suffer a similar outbreak, they would be understandably be angered to be placed in harm's way. The situation also speaks poorly of MLB management, which should have stepped in and taken control of the matter rather than leaving the decision up to a player group text.