On Thursday afternoon, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement anticipated by many fans over the last couple of weeks, postponing the remaining Spring Training dates and at least the first two weeks of the 2020 Major League Baseball schedule.
Per the press release…
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.
MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season. Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to Clubs in the coming days. As of 4:00 p.m. (ET) today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Arizona have been postponed indefinitely.
MLB and the Clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. 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.
Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.
The Cleveland Indians organization issued their own statement, much more brief in nature, on their website and social media feeds.
“We are aware of Commissioner Robert Manfred’s decision today to delay the start of the 2020 MLB regular season by at least two weeks and suspending Spring Training games. We fully support today’s decision as the safety of our community, fans and our employees/uniformed staff is of the utmost importance.
“We will provide further details as soon as we have more clarity from MLB on the status of the start of our season.”
Minor League Baseball will also take a delayed approach to the beginning of their season following their own announcement on Thursday.
“In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, and after consultation with medical professionals and our partners at Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball will delay the start of the 2020 Championship Season. We will continue to monitor the developments and will announce additional information about the 2020 season at a later date. We will work with Major League Baseball and our community partners to resume play as soon as it is safe to do so. The health and safety of Minor League Baseball fans, players and executives is our top priority, and our thoughts are with those around the world who have been affected by this outbreak.”
Stay safe and remember to wash those hands…