Official: MLB suspending spring-training games and delaying start of regular season by at least two weeks.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 12, 2020
This has been a fluid situation all day, but it’s now official. Spring training has been suspended, and the regular season is being delayed by at least two weeks.
Here is the release from Major League Baseball:
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.
Original article with updates in a timeline below
Things are moving at a very fast pace in the sporting world right now. There’s no official word from any team or from the league, but Jon Heyman of MLB Network is reporting that spring training games are expected to be suspended.
Spring training games in Florida and Arizona are expected to be suspended.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 12, 2020
On top of that comes the news that two NBA players from the Utah Jazz have tested positive for coronavirus/COVID-19 last night. And one of them, Donovan Mitchell, has a father who works for the New York Mets, are apparently going to release a statement later today according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post after Donovan Mitchell Sr. recently attended a Jazz/Knicks game (where his son was playing).
With all of that said, at least one game in Florida is being played. The Reds game in Arizona was postponed today, but due to rain.
Updated: 1:12pm ET on March 12th
I’ve heard MLB clubs are prepping for their organizations to prepare for “work from home” mode. No word on the regular season. Spring training is ending. I believe clubs are leaving their spring sites within the next 48 hours, including players going “home”.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) March 12, 2020
Updated: 1:20pm ET on March 12th
After a conference call among owners this afternoon, Major League Baseball is expected to suspend spring training. The league likely will delay the beginning of the regular season as well. At this point, it's a formality that ownership-level sources expect to happen.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 12, 2020
Updated: 1:25pm ET on March 12th
Sorry I deleted the earlier Tweet. I somehow thought today was Friday. The suspension of spring training is to begin tomorrow. Sorry for that mistake.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 12, 2020
While this is pure speculation, if they are suspending spring training, that almost guarantees that the start of the regular season will be postponed and pushed back to. Pitchers, more than hitters, will need time to build up for the season.
Updated: 2:33pm ET
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has signed an order that bans mass gatherings of more than 100 people in the state (with some restrictions) – but it includes both indoor and outdoor sporting events. These events can take place if fans are not in attendance.
Updated: 2:47pm ET
Jon Heyman of MLB Network is reporting that players are being told that a delay to the regular season is likely.
Players around the leagues are being told a delay to the regular baseball season is likely. Unclear at this point how long.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 12, 2020
Updated: 3:09pm ET