Gov. Andrew Cuomo invited MLB teams to play in New York's stadiums amid the league's coronavirus crisis.
"New York State could host any major league baseball game that any team wants to play," Cuomo said at his daily briefing Tuesday. "New York state has one of the lowest infection rates in the U.S. New York state has a full Department of Health protocol system in place. I offer to the MLB, if you are having problems playing in other states, come play here. We will set up a health protocol."
Cuomo added that teams interested in accepting New York's offer would have to agree to fly players on private planes, quarantine at a designated hotel and get tested for COVID-19. The offer would apply to teams coming from states with high infection rates, so long as they strictly follow his plan.
New York was once considered the epicenter for the pandemic, but it has since become one of the states with the lowest infection rates in the nation. On Tuesday, Cuomo said the infection rate was 0.93%, which he called, "very good news."
The governor's suggestion to MLB teams was prompted by the Marlins' COVID-19 outbreak. Following their weekend series against the Phillies, over a dozen players and staff members tested positive for the virus by Monday. Another four players reportedly tested positive on Tuesday. Miami postponed its home opener against the Orioles on Monday night and remains quarantined in Philadelphia following the outbreak.
Due to the Marlins outbreak, the Phillies postponed their game Monday night against the visiting Yankees while waiting to be tested. MLB teams are tasked with squeezing 60 games in 66 days, and with the outbreak coming only four days into the season, the league could face a scheduling disaster.
Questions also swirl over MLB's safety protocols and how it will handle the coronavirus crisis since the league's extremely detailed Operations Manual doesn't clearly spell out how to do so. Despite the stream of positive tests, commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday night that he has faith in baseball's protocols.