Derek Jeter Says Marlins' Coronavirus Outbreak Caused by Players Becoming 'Too Comfortable'
Derek Jeter says the Miami Marlins got "too comfortable" with social distancing restrictions, leading to a coronavirus outbreak on the team
According to CBS Sports, the Marlins have seen at least 20 reported positive cases of coronavirus between players and coaches since Opening Day, which led to their quarantine in Philadelphia after facing the Phillies last week.
While speaking with reporters over a Zoom call on Monday, Jeter admitted that the team became negligent about wearing masks and abiding by social-distancing restrictions leading up to the positive tests.
"The entire traveling party got a little too comfortable," the 46-year-old said, according to ESPN. "Guys were around each other, they got relaxed and they let their guard down."
"They were getting together in groups," he added. "They weren't wearing masks as much as they should have; they weren't social distancing."
While Jeter admitted that some players temporarily left the team to run errands, such as getting food or personal items, he rejected rumors that the club had partied together before Opening Day on July 24.
"Our guys were not running all around town in Atlanta," Jeter said. "We did have a couple of individuals leave the hotel. We had guys leave to get coffee, to get clothes. A guy left to have dinner at a teammate's house. There were no other guests on-site. There was no salacious activity. There was no hanging out at bars, no clubs, no running around Atlanta."
After being placed into self-isolation in Philadelphia, the Marlins were taken back to Florida via bus to continue their quarantine, ESPN reported.
Jeter said many players are currently asymptomatic — meaning they're not showing typical symptoms of the virus, such as coughing, fever, or shortness of breath — but others are showing mild symptoms.
Included in the group of Marlins players who tested positive were infielder Miguel Rojas, pitcher Sandy Alcantara and catcher Jorge Alfaro. The trio spoke about the ordeal in a video published by the team on Monday.
"It tells you a lot about we're suffering," Rojas said. "We're human beings, not just baseball players. We're suffering from this virus. And it's not just the three of us. We've got another 15 teammates that got the virus. This has to bring awareness. Not just to our team but to everybody throughout the league."
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Seven St. Louis Cardinals players and six team staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week, leading to their four-game series against the Detroit Tigers to be postponed, the MLB announced Tuesday morning.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the United States has seen more than 4.7 million cases and 155,935 deaths attributed to coronavirus, according to a New York Times database.
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