The MLB will suspend all operations in response to the coronavirus outbreak, following suit of other major leagues. In addition to suspending all spring training games, this move will result in a delayed opening day.
After multiple days of deliberation over how to properly handle the developing crisis, the league came out with its official statement at around 3:00 PM Thursday.
Among key points are the suspension of Spring Training and the regular season being delayed by at least two weeks. Commissioner Rob Manfred consulted with all 30 clubs and the MLBPA before reaching the decision.
In addition, the league announced that the 2020 World Baseball Qualifier has been postponed indefinitely.
What Happens Next
On the various delays and cancellations, the league states: “MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.”
All remaining Spring Training games are officially cancelled, but things are murkier in terms of the regular season.
Former Reds and Nationals GM Jim Bowden weighed in and expects the delay to last “at least a month.”
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While the league does intend to resume normal operations as soon as possible, it stresses that the health of fans, players, and employees is of the utmost importance. The league states: “MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts.”