Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball was forced to postpone Opening Day to an unknown date.
According to an MLB News Release, “MLB will keep fans updated on decisions regarding plans for the 2020 schedule in the days and weeks ahead.” A potential late start of the season would include variables that would need adjusting.
Statement from Major League Baseball: pic.twitter.com/E5xPfMGOc0
— MLB (@MLB) March 16, 2020
Better Late Than Never
According to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, the hope is that the season can begin in May. “My optimistic outlook is that at some point in May we’ll be gearing back up. We’ll have to make a determination, depending on what the precise date is, as to how much of a preparation period we need,” said Manfred. “Opening the season late will cause schedules to be reworked to cram in as many games as possible to make up for lost time. Manfred explained that “the commitment of the clubs is to play as many baseball games in 2020 as we can.”
Furthermore, there is talk that regular-season games could stretch into October. Playoff games could be played in November at neutral sites. In order to get the season started back up as soon as possible, there has also been discussion of a shortened spring training.
The union is considering that “rather than spending a month ramping pitchers back up, MLB could opt for an abbreviated second spring and instead expand rosters to allow teams to carry extra pitchers.”
All Hands-On Deck
Despite the chaos, the virus has seemed to bring players and teams together in working towards possible solutions. On Sunday, March 22, the union hosted a conference call to discuss issues and opinions. The call included players like Mike Trout, Gerrit Cole, Bryce Harper, Zack Greinke, Pete Alonso, Alex Bregman, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Anthony Rendon, and David Price and totaled to around 100 players.
Each player is being individually affected in unique ways, and the union is dealing with many different questions. Although, players and staff seem to agree that the most important factor is keeping each other safe during these difficult times.
Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians’ Infielder:
Luke Voit – New York Yankees’ Pitcher:
Theo Epstein – Chicago Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations: