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Marlins aren't on Athletics' Schedule, but they Suddenly Have a Huge Impact on it

The Oakland Athletics have to treat the COVID-19 outbreak the Miami Marlins are going through as if it could happen to them. Manager Bob Melvin says the A's have to do better at social distancing and doing their jobs in the age of a pandemic.

The Miami Marlins were on the A’s original 2020 season schedule, but then were not when the scheduled was shortened from 162 games to 60.

As of today, the Marlins are once again a huge part of the Oakland schedule.

That’s because the Marlins have had an outbreak of COVID-19, are quarantined for the moment in Philadelphia and won’t be playing their home opener against the Orioles Monday night. If it becomes the front end of a trend, there’s no telling how many of those 60 games the A’s or any MLB team will be able to play.

It’s a cautionary tale. Because the outbreak, numbering more than a dozen Miami organization member, took place in Philadelphia, the Yankees series against the Phillies there has been put on hold.

“I’m on record saying its not going to be perfect at the beginning,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said before Oakland hosted the Angels in the finale of a four-game set Monday. “Maybe something like this that’s going on with the Marlins creates more awareness and more caution, as far as that goes.”

While the A’s have had just one player, pitcher Jesus Luzardo, test positive for the coronavirus, and he’s since recovered and is on the active roster, some of that has to be attributed to good fortune. After Matt Olson’s walkoff grand slam Friday, there was no sense of social distancing; he was swarmed. And while some of the players are wearing masks, others are not.

Melvin knows the A’s can’t point fingers. They need to get better at being safe and healthy. Olson told MLB Network Monday that he’s considering taking a mask with him to first base. And whenever there’s a runner at first, he’d put it on. Melvin supports that.

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Angels’ manager Joe Maddon said Monday his club was going to get a couple of large rooms at their hotels on the road where players can be appropriately distanced but kick back and play video games and hang out. The second would be for the staff to unwind after night games.

Melvin, whose team hits the road with a game Friday in Seattle, doesn’t see that, at least not at the moment. Not for the first time, he’s talking about the importance of getting the season in, not just winning games.

“I don’t think we’ll need to do something like that,” Melvin said. “We’ll have a room where they can get food and so forth. I don’t think our guys want to go out. Talking to our guys, I think they’re going to stay as much in the room and as socially distanced in a bubble as we possibly can.

“We’re just trying to take it day to day, and I don’t mean in our focus on trying to win a game. I think you just move forward and do the best you and try to get a season in. We’re just thinking what the next step will be.”

The A’s were never going to be in Miami this season, even in the original schedule. With the AL West first scheduled to play interleague games against the NL East, the Marlins would have played a three-game series in the Coliseum that would have run from June 28-July 1.

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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