PHILADELPHIA—Steve Filson pulled off the Phillie Phanatic suit Monday after cleaning the visitor’s clubhouse at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia. He dabbed the sweat on his forehead after trying to make the best of a bad situation.
“The [expletive deleted] hazmat suit didn’t come in time so I had to wear this [expletive deleted] thing,” Filson shouted from a distance of about 50 feet – all the closer a MMW News Network reporter was willing to get. “I thought about changing the thing that shoots out of the snout to hold some sanitizing spray, but I couldn’t figure out how to [expletive deleted] do it.”
Filson, the stadium’s maintenance director, took as many precautions as he could after learning that the Miami Marlins, who’d played in Philadelphia the previous weekend, had an outbreak of Covid-19 on its team. So far, 18 players and two non-players have tested positive, shutting down the Marlins for at least a week.
Miami remains 2-1, the furthest above .500 that the team has been in recent memory.
Miami manager Don Mattingly said he’s really disappointed to have his team in limbo.
“We felt like we were in a great position to compete this year,” he said. “I mean, what other team is more used to playing in front of no fans?”
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed dismay and outrage at the situation.
“I don’t understand. We had a plan. We had protocols in place. It makes no sense that this happened,” Manfred said of having players travel around the country in the midst of a pandemic that has infected at least 4.7 million Americas.
Manfred released a statement before the season started asking players and team personnel to wear a mask while away from the stadium, wash hands often, and not congregate in large groups.
“All we need is for our 900 players and the managers, coaches, trainers, bus drivers, pilots, and other support staff to simply go directly from the stadium to the hotel and not interact with fans, friends, families, waiters, bartenders, other players, or strippers. I mean, how hard is that?” Manfred said.
Manfred, though, said he doesn’t want to shut down the embryonic season.
“Next week, I plan on talking to whomever is in charge of this virus, and we’ll get to the bottom of this,” he said.
Eight of MLB’s 30 teams did not play Friday due to Covid-19 complications, including the Phillies.
“At least that means I don’t have to put on that [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] mascot suit on again,” Filson said.