Marlins' thoughts are with Florida as Irma looms
Many players have families with them on road trip to Atlanta
ATLANTA -- Marlins players, many accompanied by their families, as well as other members of the organization traveled with the club to Atlanta to be out of harm's way as Hurricane Irma tracks toward South Florida.
More than baseball is on the minds of the club as a powerful storm threatens Miami and the vast majority of Florida.
"I hope everything is all right in Miami, and everybody makes it through the storm, and the city is all right," center fielder Christian Yelich said. "A lot of uncertainty for a lot of people, including us. I hope everyone gets to stay safe with as little amount of damage to the city and the state of Florida."
The Marlins allowed players, and other team employees, to bring their families on the trip. Miami opened a four-game series at Atlanta on Thursday, which will be followed by a three-game set beginning Monday at Philadelphia.
"Everyone is paying attention to what is going on," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "There's a lot of folks doing the same thing, making sure everybody is safe, and being as prepared as possible. We'll just deal with it as it comes."
The Braves are offering complimentary tickets to residents impacted by Hurricane Irma, who are under evacuation orders. The invitation is to residents from Florida, as well as Georgia and South Carolina counties under evacuation orders. Many are heading to Atlanta.
With a valid state ID, those affected can receive complimentary tickets to any of the Marlins' four games this weekend at SunTrust Park.
"It felt good for our guys to be able to bring their families, and help some people get out of the area," Mattingly said. "I'm sure there [are] all kinds of concern. Some [organizational] people had to stay back for various reasons. They've got homes, they've got condos in Jupiter, and different places like that. In general, you think about the whole area."
Hurricane Irma is the second major weather event that could impact the MLB season.
The city of Houston and the Astros are recovering from Hurricane Harvey, which caused mass flooding to the city.
Yelich said he packed extra clothes, just in case the Marlins have a prolonged stay on the road.
"I packed for a little bit extra on the road, just in case," Yelich said. "You saw what happened with the Astros. You want to be prepared, but more importantly, you hope everyone is all right."
The Marlins are trying to get some traction after going 1-6 on their homestand, which concluded Wednesday against the Nationals.
"For us, we're lucky, because you get the three-hour escape," Yelich said. "Once the game starts, you're not really thinking about anything. Obviously, we've got the news on in the clubhouse before the game, and you get updates after the game.
"People are concerned. It's a huge storm. You've seen the videos and the images of the islands that it has already hit. You're hoping that doesn't make it to Florida."