Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter talked to the local media Monday ahead of the team’s game against the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday evening.
As the ball club resumes play tonight against the Baltimore Orioles, Jeter continues to defend his franchise, defend his players and coaches and continues to remain the voice of reason while the Marlins get set to find a balance between what has happened this past week with COVID-19 and how his team must march forward with the remainder of the MLB season.
Jeter was as candid as he has ever been while talking to the media on Monday, a day ahead of the biggest day of the Marlins MLB season. It was only fitting that the man who has been a calming influence in this game since the first time he put on a New York Yankees jersey was the same way with players he now calls employees and hopefully will call them World Series champions within the next few seasons.
And in true Jeter fashion, he was direct in his approach to the questions the media asked him via Zoom on Monday.
“The entire traveling party is responsible for not following the protocols as is instructed,” Jeter said. “That includes coaches, staff, and players. Everyone has seen the impact. They’ve seen their teammates get sick. I know they all have a new level of appreciation [for the danger of the virus].
This wasn’t a slap on the wrist, rather a decision to discuss what happened, to correct misinformation and to reassure the media and baseball community the Miami Marlins are going to do better in understanding how this kind of situation affects not just one MLB team, but the entire league and beyond.
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There is a responsibility everyone has in this type of situation, which is still very real in this sport. Jeter grabbed the opportunity to talk about it and defend his players and staff.
“The players are doing OK,” Jeter said. “We have a lot of players who are asymptomatic, we have players who are showing mild symptoms. Our players now are quarantined down here in Miami so they can have the care of our medical staff.”
Everything begins again. A fresh start. A chance to build on a solid beginning that was stopped short. There are players who were not affected by COVID-19 who are ready to make their mark on the parent club. There are those who have been added to the roster in recent days who could give this organization the boost it needs to keep on moving forward.
Now that the Marlins appear ready to play ball and the St. Louis Cardinals are the latest team embroiled in COVID-19 and its effects on the MLB team, Jeter reminds us all that these players are humans as well and the situation his team is going through is real and just as damaging as anyone who is living with it at the moment.
“Have a little empathy for our players,” Jeter said. “They’ve been stricken with a virus that has no cure other than to run its course. Our players and coaches went into this knowing that their health was on the line. Unfortunately, they’ve had to endure quite a trying time over the last week-plus. We have seen firsthand how contagious this virus is.”
The Marlins added eight players to their roster prior to Tuesday to give manager Don Mattingly more options with the lineup tonight. This is a team that should still remain competitive until their players who are still dealing with the Coronavirus can rejoin the ball club. There is still plenty of potential with these young players, some who may not get caught up in the moment and play the game without a hitch.
As Joe Frisaro as explained, the Miami Marlins have made sure to restock their bullpen to help ease the transition back to playing baseball this week.
“The Marlins have added seven relievers in the past week — left-handers Brian Moran, Josh D. Smith and Richard Bleier; right-handers James Hoyt, Mike Morin and Justin Shafer; and Pat Venditte, who throws with both arms,” he wrote.