Derek Jeter Says Marlins' COVID-19 Outbreak Not Result of 'Salacious Activity'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2020

Derek Jeter CEO and part owner of the Miami Marlins leaves a meeting during MLB baseball owners meetings, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said Monday that the organization's breakout of COVID-19 cases—at least 18 players on the team have tested positive—was not the result of "salacious activity." 

"There is no way to identify how this got into our clubhouse," he told reporters. "Our guys were not running around town in Atlanta. We did have a couple individuals leave the hotel. We had guys leave to get coffee, get clothes. No salacious activity."

"No hanging out at bars," he added. "No clubs."

Jeter said that some of the members of the team's traveling party had a "false sense of security" but that he wasn't laying blame on anybody in particular. 

"I'm not mad. I'm not a medical expert, either," he said. "Hindsight is 20/20. You look back and say, 'Oh, well you know, we shouldn't have played,' but it's important to point out the fact that you don't know where it came from. You don't how quickly it spread."

As for whether the league's testing and safety protocols were sufficient, Jeter noted that it "would be hard to say that the protocols weren't good because we made our own fair share of mistakes."

And Jeter denied that Marlins players made the decision to play on against the Phillies last week when positive test cases started coming in:

Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz

Jeter said Philadelphia Inquirer story that players decided (by group text or any other way) to play in Philly eight days ago was untrue. Was not players' decision, he said.

Jayson Stark @jaysonst

Derek Jeter just met with the media via Zoom. Tried to shoot down the idea that the decision to play Sunday in Philadelphia was his players' idea. He said everyone was "aware" of the positive tests - including the Phillies & MLB - and they "all" decided to play that game.

Nonetheless, the rash of positive cases in Miami, Philadelphia and St. Louis have threatened to upend the 2020 season. All three teams have already seen a number of games postponed, putting strain on an already-compacted 60-game schedule. 

MLB's approach to its season—namely in not utilizing a bubble environment like the NBA and NHL, both of which have seen no coronavirus cases in their latest rounds of testing—is surely being scrutinized closely by the NFL, which also will not operate within a bubble and will have teams traveling around the country.