Derek Jeter is setting the record straight.
The Miami Marlins CEO met with reporters via Zoom on Monday to discuss his team’s COVID outbreak that resulted in 21 members – including 19 players – testing positive and forcing a full week of games to be called off.
Yet, Jeter said there was no partying, no clubbing, no visits to Magic City.
“Guys were not running all around town after our game in Atlanta,” he said. “There is no way to identify how this got into our clubhouse.”
Jeter did, however, admit there were mistakes made. He said his club got careless, letting their guard down by failing to wear masks or properly social distance.
“Some of our traveling party had a false sense of security,” he said. “This is a wakeup call.”
Not only is it a wakeup call for the Marlins, but all of Major League Baseball as it tries to continue to push through playing in a pandemic despite it impacting the ability to play out the schedule.
Despite the protocols in place, the inability to play in a bubble like the NBA or NHL has opened MLB up to greater risk of being exposed to the virus.
“We haven’t been perfect,” Jeter said. “We have to be perfect moving forward.”
While the Marlins are set to return to play Tuesday, it is now the St. Louis Cardinals who are dealing with an outbreak -- which was up to 13 positive cases on Monday, including seven players – and had their four-game series against the Tigers postponed after not playing their three-game series against the Brewers over the weekend.
The Cardinals, however, managed to get out in front of the outbreak, deciding not to play against the Brewers after the first positive tests came in.
The Marlins, on the other hand, played last Sunday against the Phillies despite at least four positives within the traveling party.
Reports suggested the players held a vote to play that Sunday, but Jeter said it was a decision made by MLB.
“The league has their medical experts,” he said. “They have their protocols in place … Am I mad at the league for us playing? I’m not mad at the league.”
Jeter said a compliance officer will now travel with the team moving forward so they follow the protocols outside of the ballpark.
“I hope people see what happened to us and use that as a warning if you’re not following protocols 100%,” Jeter added. “You can’t let your guard down. We’re battling something that is invisible.”