The series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins in Puerto Rico on May 30-31 may be close to cancellation because of concerns of the Zika virus, according to Yahoo Sports.
Players from both the Pirates and Marlins have expressed their concerns traveling to Puerto Rico and prefer the games be moved to Miami after learning of the virus’ presence in the country.
A decision is expected by the end of the week, Marlins player representative Tom Koehler said Tuesday.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave a presentation on the disease to the Marlins. The virus causes devastating birth defects and is strongly linked to a variety of serious neurological conditions, including a form of paralysis called Guillain-Barre syndrome.
“The information was more shocking to both sides,” Koehler said. “Maybe shocking isn’t the correct word, but there was a lot more information and data and numbers thrown our way that we didn’t have.”
The games were scheduled to be played at Hiram Bithorn Stadium to celebrate Roberto Clemente Day. The matchup would mark MLB’s first games in Puerto Rico since the Marlins and New York Mets played in 2010. Hiram Bithorn Stadium hosted several games for the Montreal Expos in 2003 and 2004.
“We recognize the importance of the trip,” Marlins pitcher Craig Breslow said two weeks ago. “But at the same time, our health and the health of our families is paramount.”