If you’re around Phillies manager Joe Girardi, you better be wearing a mask to protect against the new coronavirus.
Girardi said he got in an elevator at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia the other day, and someone started to enter without a mask.
“I felt bad, but I just said ‘No,’ ” Girardi said. “I don’t want to be rude, but I have a responsibility to our game that I don’t contract (the virus) and spread it around. I think that’s how everyone needs to look at this.”
The Phillies, who have not played since last Sunday because of COVID-19 issues, are scheduled to return to the field at 7:05 p.m. Monday for the first of four games against the New York Yankees. Monday and Tuesday’s contests will be played at Yankee Stadium and Wednesday and Thursday’s games at Citizens Bank Park. The times will be determined.
“We just stay tuned,” Girardi said in a Saturday video conference with reporters, “and handle what comes our way.”
The Phillies have been caught in the fallout of the Miami Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak. Miami, which played three games in Philadelphia last weekend, has reportedly had 18 players test positive for the virus. The Marlins spent last week quarantining in a Philadelphia hotel.
The Phillies have undergone daily testing since Monday. No Philadelphia players have tested positive. Three staff members tested positive, but Major League Baseball said Saturday that two of those results were false positives, and it’s unclear if the third individual contracted the virus from the Marlins.
“The fortunate thing is that it did not spread around our clubhouse,” Girardi said. “You can’t slip up. I feel safe around our clubhouse.”
Girardi said he holds no animosity toward the Marlins. There have been reports that the Marlins did not closely follow protocols on and off the field.
“Think about how their lives have been turned upside down,” Girardi said. “Guys are going home (to Florida) on sleeper buses. The penalty of having it in your clubhouse is really severe. I feel for those guys. I know they do have remorse. Some of them feel guilty, and I don’t think that’s necessarily fair.”
The Phillies worked out at Citizens Bank on Saturday and will work out again Sunday. The Phillies face possibly playing 57 games in 56 days, a stretch that would challenge a team’s pitching in a normal season.
“We knew there were going to be challenges,” Girardi said. “I give our pitchers credit. They’ve kept up trying to do as much as they could by themselves. I’ve heard of guys throwing baseballs against mattresses and brick walls on the outside of their homes. We knew we had to be somewhat prepared for anything (coming into the season). I think our guys have done a pretty good job of handling that.”
For now, Girardi just wants to get through Monday.
“I believe players have the ability to rise to the occasion,” Girardi said, “and do extraordinary things.”