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Players, managers, sports industry figures react to positive COVID-19 tests in Major League Baseball

(Reuters) - Major League Baseball’s shortened, coronavirus-delayed season faced an early challenge this week after a number of players on the Miami Marlins tested positive for COVID-19.

FILE PHOTO: Jul 3, 2020; Miami, Florida, United States; Miami Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter watches during a workout at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Here are some reactions:

DEREK JETER, MIAMI MARLINS CEO AND FORMER 14-TIME ALL-STAR FOR THE NEW YORK YANKEES

“The health of our players and staff has been and will continue to be our primary focus as we navigate through these unchartered waters. After a successful Spring 2.0, we have now experienced challenges once we went on the road and left Miami. Postponing tonight’s home opener was the correct decision to ensure we take a collective pause and try to properly grasp the totality of this situation. We have conducted another round of testing for our players and staff, and our team will all remain in Philadelphia pending the results of those tests, which we expect later today. We will provide additional information as soon as it becomes available.”

DAVID PRICE, DODGERS PITCHER AND FIVE-TIME ALL-STAR, WHO OPTED OUT OF 2020 SEASON

“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.”

DAVE MARTINEZ, MANAGER OF THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS

“My level of concern went from about an eight to a 12. ... I’ve got guys in our clubhouse that are really concerned as well. For me, this is my family and I worry about these guys and I worry about everyone around us. I don’t want anybody to get sick. This is definitely a big concern. I can’t say I’m not thinking about it. I am. This morning I woke up and had all these text messages. Talked to other managers and (there is) definitely a level of concern.”

NEAL PILSON, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF PILSON COMMUNICATIONS, AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF CBS SPORTS

“It potentially could be a very serious problem but right at the moment I think there is a good deal of hysteria and we have to wait and see what the total situation is(...)Frankly everyone should have expected that there would be some positive results and we’ll see how it plays out. I definitely would not abandon the season at this point.”

VICTOR MATHESON, SPECIALIST IN SPORTS ECONOMICS AT COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS

“One of the problems with Major League Baseball in particular is that they play so many games, which means that anything that knocks your team out for any sort of reasonable quarantine period is a huge problem in terms of scheduling.”

Reporting by Amy Tennery and Frank Pingue; Editing by Peter Cooney

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