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Yankees, Phillies on or off? What we know and don’t know following Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak

NJ.com logo NJ.com 7/28/2020 By Randy Miller, nj.com

The Yankees were stuck in Philadelphia Monday, day and night, because they were stuck in limbo.

Their Monday night game against the Phillies was called off because the COVID-19 stricken Miami Marlins used the visiting clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park last weekend.

Now what?

Here’s what we know and don’t know:

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

The Yankees are supposed to play the Phillies four times this week, two in Philly and then two at Yankee Stadium.

Depending on how the Phillies fare in their latest coronavirus tests, the Yankees may play one or two games Tuesday night in Philadelphia or New York … or they could be postponed again.

Another postponement could lead to back-to-back doubleheaders at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday nights, because the Yanks have just seven days off in their 60-game dash season.

“I expect that we will have an initial set of test results late (Monday) night and I think you’ll have an update (Tuesday) as to how we expect to proceed,” commissioner Rob Manfred said during an MLB Network interview.

WHAT WE KNOW

Manfred and owners didn’t consider canceling or pausing the just-started season due to the Marlins’ ordeal.

“No,” Manfred said. “We talked about the situation. I think most of the owners realize that we built protocols anticipating that we would have positive tests at some point during the season. The protocols were built in order to allow us to continue to play through those positives.

“And I think there was support for the notion that we believe that the protocols are adequate to keep our players safe.”

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

Are Yankees players and coaches freaking out about using the visiting clubhouse in Philly after 11 Marlins players and two coaches who were there last weekend tested positive in the last few days?

Maybe.

Will they feel safe if MLB orders them to play in Philly on Tuesday?

Maybe not.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker  5/8  Newsletter  5/8  Homepage

Before Monday’s postponement, Yankees ace Gerrit Cole had been scheduled to pitch Tuesday night. Even with Citizens Bank Park fumigated on Monday, would Cole ask to stay out of the ballpark this week and pitch Wednesday in New York to add a degree of safety to his health and thus possibly keep his wife and month-old son safe? Could anyone blame him for playing in safe?

WHAT WE KNOW

Dodgers pitcher David Price, who has opted out, says Manfred and owners aren’t most concerned about player safety despite all the protocols that have been put in place.

Responding to the Marlins’ outbreak, Price tweeted, “Now we REALLY get to see if MLB is going to put players health first. Remember when Manfred said players health was PARAMOUNT?! Part of the reason I’m at home right now is because players health wasn’t being put first. I can see that hasn’t changed.”

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

No Yankees player or coach has opted out of the season, but maybe one or more will give it more serious thought now.

It wouldn’t be surprising if several players were having these conversations with family members Monday … and it wouldn’t be surprising if a few eventually decide to forego their reduced 2020 salary to return home to their families.

Other clubs have lost star players to opting out - Giants catcher Buster Posey, Braves outfielder Nick Markakis, Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and Price, included - and it could happen to the Yankees, too.

WHAT WE KNOW

While concerned, Manfred isn’t viewing the Marlins’ situation as a nightmare ordeal.

“Obviously we don’t want any player to get exposed,” he said. “It’s not a positive thing. But I don’t see this as a nightmare. We built the protocols to allow us to continue to play. That’s why we have the expanded rosters. That’s why we have the pool of additional players. And we think we can keep people safe and continue to play.

“We expected we were going to have positives at some point in time. I remain optimistic that the protocols are strong enough that it will allow us to continue to play, even through an outbreak like this and complete our season.”

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Randy Miller may be reached at rmiller@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RandyJMiller. Find NJ.com on Facebook. Tell us your coronavirus story or send a tip here.

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