Coronavirus Delays Start Of MLB Season

Darkened Stadium

Major League Baseball is the latest sport to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic. The league issued a statement Thursday afternoon announcing that all remaining Spring Training games have been canceled and that the start of the regular season will be delayed by at least two weeks.

The statement reads in part as follows:

Following a call with the 30 Clubs, and after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. today announced that MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic.  This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans. “

The statement goes on to say that the Major League front office is working in conjunction with all 30 teams to determine a “contingency plan” for the regular season schedule. Obviously, the MLB schedule, as with schedules in all professional and high-level collegiate sports, is a meticulously-crafted mosaic that incorporates a whole host of internal and external considerations, so it’s not as if the full 162-game slate as originally laid out can simply be pushed back two weeks.

For one, that would mean that the World Series could stretch into the middle of November — which presents a number of potential complications — and that’s not to mention the travel and off-day logistics that would otherwise be thrown into disarray. Although we are still in the beginning stages of this inexorably elaborate restructure, it seems that the league will have no other choice but to shorten the season.

Of course, the two-week timeframe could change. The pandemic has shown no signs of slowing down, so we could be looking at the cancellation of the entire 2020 season. The NBA and NHL have already suspended their regular seasons indefinitely, and MLB could soon follow suit.

Needless to say, sports take a backseat to the devastating ramifications that the coronavirus has had and will continue to have on lives around the globe. We can only hope for a return to normalcy as soon as possible.

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