Yankees-Phillies series postponed amid virus worries

Sports

An empty Ashburn Alley faces seats at Citizens Bank Park on Monday, July 27, 2020, in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Phillies’ game against the New York Yankees on Monday was postponed after several members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus. (Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The remainder of the Phillies’ home-and-home series against the New York Yankees was postponed amid coronavirus concerns Tuesday in the wake of an outbreak involving another team.

The Phillies were supposed to host the Yankees on Monday and Tuesday and play them in New York on Wednesday and Thursday. Instead, the Yankees are planning to head to Baltimore to start a series against the Orioles on Wednesday.

“As of right now, we get to continue our season and we’re excited about the opportunity,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “2020 is unlike anything we’ve experienced.”

The Phillies were having a second round of COVID-19 tests Tuesday following an outbreak among the Miami Marlins, who played a weekend series in Philadelphia.

“The fact that we haven’t had anyone test positive yet is great, but there’s too much at stake when you talk about players and their health and their family’s health,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said in an interview with MLB Network Radio. “There are guys that have little children at home or wives that are pregnant or a parent that is high risk. There’s too much at risk here not to say: ‘Hey, we’ve got to back off for two days and let’s make sure.’ I think it’s smart what baseball is doing here and then we’ll go from there. We had some players that probably had some trepidation (playing against the Marlins) on Sunday because there’s close contact.”

The Yankees spent Monday in a hotel in Philadelphia after the opener of the series was postponed. They were going to return to New York on Tuesday before rearranging the schedule to go to Baltimore.

Boone said some of the team’s equipment was en route to New York before being rerouted.

The Phillies are set to host Toronto on Friday, a series originally scheduled to be on the road that had to be switched because the Blue Jays’ temporary home ballpark in Buffalo, New York, isn’t ready yet. That series is pending the results of the team’s latest COVID-19 tests.

Blue Jays reliever Anthony Bass said the team has changed hotels so it won’t be staying where the Marlins did in Philadelphia. The Blue Jays were displaced from Toronto because health officials in Canada were worried about frequent travel by players throughout the U.S., one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

“There’s concerns from everybody, everywhere. We’re all trying to be safe,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said.

Girardi said he had “anxious moments” waiting on his team’s test results.

“My fear always is, if there’s one person who has it, there’s probably more,” Girardi said. “I think we have to be really smart about this and after thinking about it, I think that this could happen more than one time with an organization. If everyone doesn’t play 60 games, I think that’s all right. We want to get to the playoffs. That’s the important thing. If a team plays 57 games, you go by winning percentage to take the playoff teams and you go from there.”

More than a dozen Marlins players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak that stranded the team in Philadelphia on Sunday, disrupting MLB’s schedule in the early days of the shortened, pandemic-delayed season.

Major League Baseball suspended the Miami Marlins’ season through Sunday.

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AP Sports Writers Howard Fendrich and Steven Wine contributed to this report.

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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