Mets-Nationals opening season series postponed over COVID-19 outbreak

The series between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals has been postponed after a COVID-19 outbreak among Nationals players, MLB said in a statement Friday. The announcement comes after the initial matchup for both teams was postponed a day prior.

“Major League Baseball announced today that the remainder of this weekend’s series between the host Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, which includes games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, has been postponed due to continued follow-up testing and contract tracing involving members of the Nationals organization,” the statement said.

Three Nationals players tested positive for COVID-19, with one more player likely, the team’s general manager Mike Rizzo said Thursday. Rizzo said the infected players are in quarantine and the team is conducting extensive contact tracing. 

The Mets and Nationals won’t begin their seasons until Monday at the earliest. The Mets will kick off their season against the Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia while the Nationals will welcome the Braves to the nation’s capital. 

Before Thursday, all 30 teams were set to take the field for opening day, the first 162-game season since 2019 after the coronavirus pandemic forced teams to play the shortened 2020 season. Besides the Mets-Nationals game, the Boston Red Sox-Baltimore Orioles game was postponed due to weather. 

Last year, the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins were involved in baseball’s two most significant COVID-19 outbreaks, CBS Sports reported. Both teams were shut down for approximately two weeks with a double-digit number of players and staff members testing positive in the early weeks of the abbreviated 60-game regular season.

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