Baltimore Orioles: Rob Manfred on the Marlins Playing at Camden Yards

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 09: Baltimore Orioles caps on a ledge during an Intrasquad game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 9, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 09: Baltimore Orioles caps on a ledge during an Intrasquad game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 9, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Orioles are sitting idle again today when they were scheduled to play in Miami.

After a brief two-game series in Miami, the Marlins and Baltimore Orioles are still tentatively scheduled to play in the Camden Yards opening series on Wednesday and Thursday.

But, the keyword for the opening series at Camden Yards is tentative. It all hinges on the Marlins and the outcomes of their COVID-19 tests today.

In an interview on MLB Tonight, Commissioner Rob Manfred explained the protocols that are keeping games going and could send the Marlins to Baltimore – even with 14 players testing positive a few days ago.

Manfred claims that after tens of thousands of tests and their positive rate has been just .4%. If the Marlins have “acceptable” results, then they will fly to Baltimore for the two games. Manfred would not confirm or deny whether or not the Marlins and Orioles would play the postponed games from Monday and Tuesday.

He also shared details about cancelling or stalling the rest of the 2020 season. Manfred said that MLB protocols are adequate to keep players safe. The protocols involve closeness, and there are some protocols that require players stay distant from their teammates. As a fan, it is difficult to see this happening, as dugout cameras showed players not sitting six feet apart, and many players crowded around the protective fencing to watch the games.

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Manfred also shared information about contact tracing and the decisions that went into letting the Marlins play in Philadelphia on Sunday, despite having several positive tests. Each team has a trained contact tracer, but he would not share details about the Marlins and their outbreak.

He said the situations regarding testing are constantly evolving. Manfred also declined to say that having one team with an outbreak is a “nightmare situation.” He said he did not want any players to be exposed, but did continue to explain the protocols that were put in place to keep the game going like having player pools and taxi squads.

When asked about a “critical mass” that would force him to shut down the whole schedule or part of the schedule, Manfred said yes to both. One would be if a team could not field enough players due to positive tests. He also said that if the outbreak went league-wide.

He was also asked about the bubbles in the NHL and the NBA. Manfred said that he made the right decision regarding the bubble, because of the support positions, the field necessities, and the duration of season. It would be too difficult to make the bubble work. The NHL and NBA have smaller numbers of players, so a bubble is more appropriate for them.

Manfred discussed that he knew there would be positive tests, he is optimistic that the protocols will keep the games going. He is expecting to get to the playoffs.

The test results from the Phillies and Marlins should be available Monday night and shared on Tuesday. Orioles fans should know soon whether Camden Yards will have its 2020 inaugural game on Wednesday. But, as I’m writing, news is being released. According to a Tweet from Ken Rosenthal with The Athletic, it isn’t looking good for the Marlins:

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Only time will tell. But, a decision about the Wednesday and Thursday games will have to be made. If this news continues, I’m betting that the Orioles will not play the Marlins – and neither will any other team in the near future.