MLB Moves Pirates-Marlins Series From Puerto Rico Over Zika Fears
The series was scheduled to take place at Roberto Clemente Stadium on May 30 and 31. The games have now been moved to Miami.
A Pittsburgh Pirates-Miami Marlins two-game series in Puerto Rico has been moved to Miami amid player concerns about the Zika virus.
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association jointly announced the decision Friday. The series was scheduled to take place May 30 and 31 at Roberto Clemente Stadium.
"After discussing the issue with all involved parties, and consulting with federal and Puerto Rican government officials at the highest levels, Commissioner Manfred decided that the players who objected to the trip because of their specific family situations should not be forced to travel to Puerto Rico," the league and union said in a press release. "Because too many regulars on both Clubs fell into that category, Commissioner Manfred had no choice but to relocate the games."
Earlier this week, when it was announced that baseball was considering moving the series, Rep. Angel Matos, Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Industry, called it "an outrageous situation."
In a statement to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Matos said: "The reality is that this cancellation is unfair, disproportionate, and makes our country look bad. It's an act of touristic terrorism."
"Commissioner Manfred and the MLBPA fully understand the disappointment by those in Puerto Rico to the relocation of the games," the league and union said in a statement. "MLB and the Players Association did everything possible to adequately address the concerns raised by players and still play the games in Puerto Rico, but despite extensive efforts, they were unable to develop a workable solution."
As of May 4, there have been 629 cases of Zika contracted in Puerto Rico, according to the CDC. Two cases have been recorded in Puerto Rico that were contracted outside the country. In Florida, there have been 95 recorded cases of Zika, but all from travel elsewhere and none transmitted by mosquitos in Florida.