The Philadelphia Phillies took the field Monday for the first time since their opening series against the Miami Marlins ended on July 26, and left fielder Andrew McCutchen is not happy about the delay.
Jayson Stark of The Athletic asked McCutchen if he was upset with the Marlins after a number of their players tested positive for COVID-19 following the series in Philadelphia, causing the Phillies to miss plenty of action.
As it turns out, he was:
"I was upset at everything that's transpired through that—whoever decided to step out or not necessarily follow the health and safety protocol. That upset me. What made me angry was that we, as the Phillies—we were the ones that ended up having to pay for that. … We followed all of the health and safety protocols. We knew that was important. We understood that's what we needed to do to be able to play this game. And we did everything right. And we paid for it.
"And so for me, that was upsetting. I'm sitting here at home, watching 28 to 27 to 26 other teams play, and we're sitting at home—all (testing) negative by the way. And we have to watch this happen while we did nothing wrong. So for me, that was very upsetting. It was very upsetting that we did everything right, and we were still the ones paying for it."
Stark provided more information, noting Major League Baseball is investigating player behavior from the Marlins in an effort "to determine what caused one positive case to mushroom into 20 in a span of just a few days."
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said some of the players "let their guard down" but stressed there were "no clubs, no bars, no running around Atlanta."
Miami is not the only team dealing with such a situation.
On Monday, ESPN's Jeff Passan noted MLB postponed the St. Louis Cardinals' series against the Detroit Tigers because 13 members of the Cardinals organization have tested positive for COVID-19, including seven players. St. Louis has not played since Wednesday, July 29.
"I have no factual reason to believe that is true, and I have not seen any proof of that," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said when asked about whether some of the Cardinals players went to a casino, per Passan. "If they were at a casino, though, that would be disappointing."
For his part, McCutchen said players around the league can learn from the early positive tests and scheduling delays:
"We can see all it takes is one person, two, whatever, to really make things a little difficult with this season. So I was upset at the fact that we did everything right and weren't playing. So as far as specific players from the other team, whatever they did is what they did. But we realize now, hopefully, we can learn from that and realize that we've all got to be on the same page if we want to be able to play this game, to play this season."
MLB is doing what it can to squeeze more games into a short amount of time, such as playing doubleheaders with seven-inning games. When Philadelphia took the field Monday to face the New York Yankees, it had played seven fewer games this season than the 7-3 Atlanta Braves.
The Phillies are now trying to make up ground in the National League East standings and in the overall number of games they have played.