Mets-Nationals weekend games off after Covid outbreak

Washington (AFP) –


The remainder of the Washington Nationals home series against the New York Mets has been postponed due to Covid-19 concerns, Major League Baseball confirmed Friday.

The Nationals had already seen their season-opener against the Mets on Thursday postponed after the 2019 World Series champions confirmed three players had tested positive for Covid-19, with a fourth case also suspected.

An MLB statement said Friday that games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday against the Mets were now postponed due to "continued follow-up testing and contact tracing" involving other individuals witht Nationals.

The Nats opener on Thursday was the only game postponed because of Covid-19, which last year forced a four-month shutdown of the league before an eventual shortened season started in July.

The Nationals were planning to raise their 2019 World Series championship banner before the home contest, a ceremony they did not have last year when fans were banned due to Covid-19.

The Nationals went through six weeks of pre-season training in Florida without a positive test but team president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo said the positive test was returned on Monday, the day the team flew from Florida to Washington.

"We don’t want this thing to spread any further," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Thursday. "We want to make sure that everybody's healthy.

"I've talked to a lot of players, and my concern is about their health and safety," Martinez added.

"We're going to get through this -- this isn't the first time we've been through some bumpy roads. We've been there, and we're going to come back from this and we're going to play baseball."