Major League Baseball has announced that spring training has been cancelled and the start of the regular season has been postponed due to the Coronavirus epidemic. All remaining spring training/exhibition games are cancelled as of today. The regular season will be delayed by at least two weeks to possibly a month or longer. MLB will reevaluate the situation in a couple of weeks. This means the earliest the season could start would be April 9.
All major American Sports have been suspended or cancelled due to the Coronavirus scare. The NBA suspended its season the other day and the NHL and MLS followed suit. The NCAA cancelled the entire March Madness college basketball tournament and other sports such as Tennis, Golf, and minor league baseball have also suspended or cancelled their season. The worry is growing across the nation and other major sporting events, concerts and large gatherings are being cancelled.
Some states like California and Washington have issued bans on large gatherings. MLB teams like the Mariners, Giants, and Athletics were already considering looking for alternative sites for the first couple of weeks of regular season games. Some games may even be played in front of empty stadiums. If and when the season resumes, and it will resume at some point, MLB will have to determine how many games will be played and how it will impact the schedule.
Leaders from the Major League Baseball Players Association and MLB will meet tonight to discuss a variety of issues related to player concerns, sources tell ESPN. Some players have expressed concern about remaining in camp and want instead to leave and be with their families.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 12, 2020
Gov. Pritzker just said he spoke to all owners of Chicago’s major sports teams and asked them not to have home games or, if they have games, not to have fans in attendance until May 1. He said all owners agreed to that request.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) March 12, 2020
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) March 12, 2020
It’s possible MLB goes to a 144, or 140 game schedule, or shorter. For the Dodgers, most of the players have already left camp. The Dodgers have told their players that they are welcome to stay in Glendale, or go home. Or go wherever they need to go. If the season is completely cancelled, some questions arise for the Dodgers. What happens to free agents like Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, and Joc Pederson? That would mean that Betts would have played no games as a Dodger and Justin Turner may have played his last game as a Dodger. Terrible to think about. What about the All-Star game? The Dodgers are making renovations to Chavez Ravine in anticipation of the All-star game, the first at Dodger Stadium since 1980. If the Coronavirus wipes out the All-star game, would the Dodgers get to host for 2021?
What about player salaries, ticket refunds, rescheduling, and other logistics? There are so many questions and we have so few answers. All we can do is wait and hope that this terrible virus goes away and that Dodger baseball returns. No matter what happens out there, stay safe everyone. Be careful, limit travel as much as possible and wash your hands as much as you can.