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Yankees-Mets weekend series is postponed after two with Mets tested positive for the coronavirus

According to multiple reports on Thursday, one Mets player and a member of the team’s staff tested positive. They will reportedly remain in Miami, along with others determined by the team to have come into close contact with them, while the rest of the traveling party is set to return to New York.

The Marlins, who suffered a major coronavirus outbreak last month, are traveling to Washington to take on the Nationals in a five-game series that begins Friday. In the wake of the outbreak, Miami placed 17 players on injured reserve and saw seven of its games postponed. Shortstop Miguel Rojas became the first of those Marlins players to rejoin the team when he was activated on Thursday. In his absence, Miami (9-9) unexpectedly surged into first place in the NL East before losing its past three games to New York.

“As we’ve said, 2020 is like no other year,” said Yankees Manager Aaron Boone (via mlb.com). “In a way, we know what we’ve signed up for. And we knew that at times, there’s going to be challenges. We’ve already faced our own challenges with a couple of cancellations and doubleheaders. Other teams have obviously had it significantly worse with actual outbreaks and things, so we’ll just continue to do our best to try and do our part to be able to safely play games.”

Going into Thursday, the 12-14 Mets were tied for the most games played of any MLB team thus far in a season that has had several teams sidelined amid a pandemic-altered, 60-game sprint to an expanded postseason.

The Mets have played twice as many games as the 6-7 St. Louis Cardinals, who were also hit with an outbreak and now appear unlikely to make up enough games to get to 60 by the scheduled end of the season on Sept. 27. In all, MLB has postponed 34 games thus far because of positive tests (per the Associated Press), with the list of affected teams also including the Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays.

According to the New York Post, the Mets’ initial belief is that their positive tests were not related to any breach of the safety and health protocols established for this season by MLB.

The Cleveland Indians recently demoted two starting pitchers, Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac, who violated protocols by going out for dinner and socializing with friends while the team was on a road trip in Chicago. That garnered the pair public criticism from within their own clubhouse, with Indians pitcher Adam Plutko saying, “They hurt us bad. They lied to us.”

When Mets starter Marcus Stroman opted out of the season earlier this month, he cited the upcoming trip to Miami as a factor. Florida’s positivity rate has been dropping, including in Miami-Dade County, but the state continues to have one of the highest daily rate of new reported cases in the country.

“Obviously, you see the Cardinals, the Marlins, you see spikes everywhere in the country, you see protocols not being handled properly from citizens everywhere,” Stroman said at the time. “You see us going to Florida soon. That was a big discussion I had with my family. Going to see the Marlins soon … I don’t want to be in that situation.”

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