DALLAS -- Major League Baseball is hanging by a thread after 17 Miami Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing them to put a hold on their season.
The team the Marlins played against to begin the season, the Philadelphia Phillies, are now in limbo after a coach and a member of their clubhouse staff tested positive for COVID on Thursday.
As a result, the Phillies canceled their workouts scheduled for Thursday, and their games this weekend against the Blue Jays have been postponed.
According to USA Today baseball insider Bob Nightengale, the Marlins outbreak started after they had a night out in Atlanta while playing the Braves in an exhibition series.
During an appearance on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Nightengale reported that "at least" one Marlins player, and possibly more, broke protocol and went out for the night.
"Well, I think a couple guys went out in Atlanta. That's what happened. I don't think it was any kind of fluke, from the bus driver or a pilot, any of that. I believe some guys got careless, at least one guy did for sure, he went out, and came back positive and spread it around," Nightengale said.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported Wednesday that Major League Baseball is investigating the incident with the Marlins to see if they broke protocols.
The club's vice president of communications and broadcasting Jason Latimer released a statement on Sherman's report, saying, “we are not going to comment on rumors. Like MLB, we are gathering as much information as possible about the entire situation. It is about finding out that information before commenting on it.”
Rangers manager Chris Woodward spoke about the Marlins outbreak with 105.3 The Fan on Thursday and called for the Marlins to be punished if they were found to have violated the rules put in place by Major League Baseball.
"I think it's opened up our eyes to see what happens if, maybe, there is a little bit of a lack of protocols. I don't know what the situation was like in Miami but it seems like there might have been a slight lack of protocols. Maybe more," Woodward said on the K&C Masterpiece. "If that's the case then our guys' eyes are wide open. This is what could happen ... we can lose, basically, our entire team if we don't remain vigilant.
"There has to be some pretty clear evidence that they did. If they did, they (should be punished). If there was a clear lack of following protocols then, maybe, they should be penalized. I don't know if they should forfeit the games, I don't know. I don't know what MLB is going to do about it, but we need to stop that. Because that could stop the whole league if that were to happen to another team."