Publish date:

Derek Jeter on Marlins Outbreak: 'This Is a Wakeup Call'


Marlins CEO Derek Jeter addressed the club's coronavirus outbreak over one week after it began spreading throughout the organization.

Following Miami's season-opening series against the Phillies, 18 Marlins players and three staffers tested positive for the virus. 

Rumors swirled that Marlins players may have contracted the virus while in Atlanta for an exhibition game before Opening Day. Jeter said some members left the team hotel but did not go to bars or clubs.

"Our guys were not running all around town after our game in Atlanta," he said. "There is no way to identify how this got into our clubhouse."

Jeter also admitted some people failed to wear face masks and social distance, adding: "Some of our traveling party had a false sense of security. ...This is a wakeup call." 

SI Recommends

Three of the Marlins' positive tests came on July 26 ahead of their game against the Phillies. Despite the team being aware of the results, they played anyway, sparking public outrage over the decision. More members continued to test positive during the week, as well as three Phillies staffers. However, MLB later announced Saturday that two of Philadelphia's cases were false positives.

According to Jeter, it was MLB's decision to let the Marlins play their final game against the Phillies.

"The league has their medical experts. They have their protocols in place. ...Am I mad at the league for us playing? I'm not mad at the league," he said.

After missing a week of games, the Marlins will return to the field to face the Orioles in Baltimore Tuesday night. The two clubs will play a three-game series to make up their series that was postponed last week.

Jeter said a compliance officer will travel with the team and the group now understands the "seriousness" of strictly adhering to COVID-19 protocols.

"I hope people see what happened to us and use that as a warning if you're not following the protocols 100%. You can't let your guard down. We're battling something that is invisible."