Miami – Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates’ players are concerned about going to Puerto Rico in May for their two-game series. The Major League Baseball (MLB) and the players’ union are consulting health experts and discussing the matter.
On Thursday, officials with Major League Baseball, the Marlins and Pirates said that they’re expecting the games to be played as scheduled May 30-31 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. Still, Tony Clark, the union head, expressed he considers the health and safety situation as serious. The games would be MLB’s first games in Puerto Rico since the Marlins and Mets played back in 2010.
Even when Craig Breslow, Marlins pitcher, said they recognize how important the trip to Puerto Rico is, he said that their health and their families’ are “paramount”.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Zika can cause microcephaly, a birth defect where infants are born with unusually small heads. The virus can spread by mosquito bites or through sexual intercourse.
The league is in contact with the union to discuss the issue, said Major League Baseball Commissioner, Rob Manfred. On the other hand, Marlins president and Pirates’ vice president, Brian Wareki, expect the games to be played as scheduled.
The priority is to keep safe the players, the staff, and the fans
Marlins president, David Samson, said team officials, MLB, and the union are all aligned to ensure the safety of the players, the staff and the fans.
“I’m completely confident MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) will work together with the CDC and any other required parties to ensure all of our safety,” he added.
Meanwhile, Wareki believes they are taking the overly cautious steps to make sure the two-game series will be successful.
The organization has been transparent with the players, said Manager Clint Hurdle. He said that due the concerns of the players, there are a lot of discussions that need to be held, such as whether they’re going to play in L.A and Miami, cities affected, in a smaller scale, by Zika as well.
According to U.S. health officials, Puerto Rico is the front lines of the nation’s battle with Zika, where Department of Health said 550 cases have been confirmed, including 71 pregnant women.
There have been 91 cases in Florida, all travel-related, and no mosquito transmission of the virus in the continental United States.
Source: Fox Sports