Two Mets games have been postponed due to a pair of positive COVID-19 tests in the organization. Major League Baseball announced that Thursday’s series finale between the Mets and Marlins at Marlins Park has been postponed, as well as Friday’s Subway Series opener at Citi Field between the Mets and Yankees.
The league has made no announcement regarding the rest of the Subway Series, which is scheduled to include games on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. The postponements of games Thursday and Friday were made “out of an abundance of caution and to allow for additional testing and contact tracing,” according to a league release.
MLB plans to provide additional updates as necessary.
“As we’ve said, 2020 is like no other year,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “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.”
Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen was unavailable for comment on Thursday. Manager Luis Rojas spoke before news of the postponements broke.
The positive tests -- one player and one staff member, according to a source -- are the first the Mets have made public since the start of the season. Those individuals, along with others whom the club determined to have been in close contact with them, will remain in Miami. The rest of the Mets planned to fly back to New York on Thursday night “with recommended safety precautions in place,” according to a team statement.
Before Thursday, the only Mets to test positive were relievers Brad Brach and Jared Hughes, who did so during intake testing; both eventually recovered and rejoined the club. The team has taken significant precautions, both at home and on the road, including flying a roomier Boeing 757 on road trips instead of the 737 it typically uses.
The Marlins have already had their season disrupted due to positive tests in their own clubhouse, which resulted in seven consecutive postponed games and the turnover of more than half their roster. The Cardinals went more than two weeks without playing a game, which caused ripple effects throughout the league. Until Thursday, however, the Mets had not had a game postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.
“The most important thing is your contact tracing,” Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said after learning of the Mets’ positive tests. “And really what I mean by that is you got to have people willing to be honest and transparent of who they were connected with. And part of what you see in sports is the shaming of, ‘Oh, you brought it into the clubhouse,’ and all of a sudden, you lose a little bit of that transparency and honesty you need to totally get your hands on it. So my advice is, don’t shame anybody. It’s not a finger-pointing incident. It’s really about helping mitigate the spread as best you can.”
The Mets had been gearing up for the first of two Subway Series installments, beginning Friday. That will now have to wait until at least Saturday.
“All the uncertainties … and all the things we’ve got to do to make sure we’re all safe with everything that’s going on in the world, I think every game is special right now,” Rojas said earlier Thursday. “To go and play the Subway Series and the history and the tradition, I know it’s also really special.”