After the NBA, NHL, and MLS suspended their seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic, MLB appears ready to follow suit. According to multiple reports, officials expect an imminent shut down of spring training games. Craig Mish adds that team officials have been instructed to prepare to work from home.
The status of the regular season and Opening Day remains unclear. Jeff Passan says that teams are currently on a conference call with the Commissioner's Office, and more information should emerge from that discussion. At this rate, it seems unlikely, let alone unwise, that the league could start the season on time.
The Yankees were expected to play the Nationals in a Grapefruit League game this afternoon. That remains on hold, with multiple players telling Marly Rivera that they expect camp to get shut down:
Just ran into a few Yankee players who believe spring training will be canceled shortly; awaiting news. Most of the team stayed back in Tampa while the rest is on the road for a game that‘s supposed to start at 1 PM. https://t.co/cFXAedqjvZ— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) March 12, 2020
Opening Day for the Bombers had been set for March 28 against the Orioles at Camden Yards. With Maryland and Washington, D.C. both operating under a State of Emergency, and gatherings and events canceled throughout the Beltway, that seemed unlikely for a little while.
The situation obviously remains in flux, with no official word out yet. Stay tuned to Pinstripe Alley for more information. We’ll update this post as news becomes available.
Update 1:20 PM: Joel Sherman says that MLB will suspend spring training on Saturday. Passan indicates that this will most likely result in a regular-season delay.
Update 4:00 PM: We now have confirmation that the season will be pushed back at least two weeks, if not more. That minimum postponement would have the Yankees starting the season on April 9 versus the Orioles, though it’s quite possible, if not likely, that the season will be pushed back even later than that. The MiLB season will also be pushed back at least two weeks.