Ha ha, just kidding. No need to wonder. It’s because of Covid-19, of course. At least five Marlins minor league players have tested positive and the team has shut down the complex in Jupiter, FL for contact tracing and isolation.
At this point, it is just downright embarrassing to have a team – at any level – have to shut things down for covid infections because that’s what we have all been dealing with for well over a year, and how does anyone still not know what the heck to do to stay clear of the virus? Wear a mask and stay away from crowds. Oh, and GET YOUR VACCINATION!! The Marlins went through this at the Major League level last season, so I am shocked they have allowed it to happen again. Seriously, all of these players should have been vaccinated by now. Teams should be requiring it. (Yes, your employer can require vaccination for continued employment.) Further, since they are all minor leaguers, they aren’t under the MLPBA umbrella which allows for players to – stupidly, in my opinion – opt out.
It’s not a stretch to think that this might impact the Marlins’ minor league teams at all levels, since no doubt some players in Jupiter will be sent to all destinations – Beloit, Pensacola, and Jacksonville. Let’s hope not. Thankfully, there was no mention of any problems at the Alternate Training site in Jax. But…thanks to the ridiculous edict opening up the state of Florida completely (dumb move by a dopey governor), and the ending of the mask mandate in Duval County (terrible move Lenny), there were 15,000 unmasked clowns at the arena directly across the street from the ballpark in Jacksonville last night to watch people beat on each other. I hope that the Alt Site players were as far away from that mess as possible.
Maintaining health and safety protocols for both players and fans such as masking, maintaining distance, and good hygiene, along with a high level of vaccination uptake, remain essential if baseball wants to get back to full capacity. We are so close to getting past this pandemic. If we let down our guard now, we will have a fourth wave (take a look at Brazil and India if you think it can’t get much, much worse) which will put the sport back at square one. We all have to pull in the same direction – for once – to get back to life in some semblance of normality. So fans, do your part. And please, Miami Marlins and the rest of baseball, stop with the half measures and snuff out these flare-ups once and for all.