The Miami Marlins are committing $1 million to help cover the lost wages of Marlins Park employees who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic’s postponement of the Major League Baseball season.
The Marlins are having additional conversations on how they can provide support to the disruption of wages for their hourly staff members. Specifics with how the pledged money will be used will come at a later date.
The gesture is being matched by all 30 MLB teams at their respective ballparks.
“Over the past 48 hours, I have been approached by representatives of all 30 clubs to help assist the thousands of ballpark employees affected by the delay in the start of the Major League Baseball season,” MLB commissioner Robert Manfred said in a statement on Tuesday. “Motivated by desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each Club has committed $1 million. ... I am proud that our clubs came together so quickly and uniformly to support these individuals who provide so much to the game we love.”
MLB initially suspended spring training games on Thursday and postponed the start of the regular season by at least two weeks. However, it’s now looking like mid-May would be the earliest baseball activities can resume following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation on Sunday that events consisting of more than 50 people be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks. That goes until May 11.
The Marlins were originally scheduled to open the season at Marlins Park on March 26 with a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. If the season were to hypothetically resume at the May 11 date, which is unlikely, that would mean 20 home games at Marlins Park would be impacted. A June 1 start would affect 26 of Miami’s 78 games at their home ballpark. One of the Marlins’ home series was slated to be played in San Juan, Puerto Rico, against the Mets from April 28-30.
The league on Friday gave players the option to either return home, remain in Spring Training locations (Jupiter, in the Marlins’ case) or return to their club’s home city. Most Marlins players are still in South Florida, whether it’s Jupiter or their homes in Broward or Miami-Dade counties.
“This is an unprecedented time and this is certainly an unprecedented decision that was made in the best interest of the players, fans and communities across the country,” Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said in a statement Thursday when the league initially suspended spring training activities. “We urge everyone to continue to exercise the preventive measures set forth by the CDC and stay informed regarding the latest developments on this virus.”