Miami Marlins Players Who Ignored Protocols Must be Severely Punished

Don Mattingly, Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves
Don Mattingly, Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Major League Baseball's internal investigation into the Miami Marlins coronavirus outbreak has reportedly revealed the franchise was lax in enforcing the league's protocols. In addition to that, Marlins players were going out, spending time in their hotel's bar and more. If that is true, anyone who broke the rules should be fined heavily and suspended.

With MLB commissioner Rob Manfred threatening to shut down the season if the league can't get a handle on the virus, it's no wonder people around the league are furious with the Marlins. At last count, Miami has had 18 players and two coaches test positive for COVID-19. The team's leadership -- starting with CEO Derek Jeter and down to manager Don Mattingly -- have to enforce discipline. If the team's players were irresponsible, everyone is to blame.

Let's be real though, if the players were going out on the town in Atlanta, they knew they weren't supposed to. Anyone who went out and risked the health of their teammates needs to be punished severely. Their behavior was unacceptable. We're not talking about breaking curfew on the road here, we're talking about potentially catching and passing on a deadly disease.

If players can't handle staying in their hotel rooms on the road or going straight home after home games, they can choose to opt out of the season. That option is available to them. If they are going to attempt to play, they need to follow the rules. If they don't, they need to face harsh punishment.

On Friday, 20 percent of MLB's teams are not able to have games due to COVID-related issues. The St. Louis Cardinals had two players test positive so their game against the Milwaukee Brewers has been postponed. The Marlins should be opening a series with the Washington Nationals but their games are on hold through the weekend. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays will not be playing their series this weekend either.

That's a lot of canceled games that will need to be made up and we're only a week into the 2020 season.

Baseball is on the brink right now. If the league and players don't handle this better it could lead to another outbreak that would shut the season down for good. Frankly, that outcome appears more and more likely every day.