On Thursday, the MLB announced that spring training and the regular season would be delayed. Friday, St. Louis Cardinals players were sent home amid Coronavirus fears.
Strange times indeed. As if Thursday’s news wasn’t bad enough for St. Louis Cardinals fans and MLB fans alike, Friday has brought more news that likely changes the timeline for the regular season.
What Wednesday night with the suspension of the NBA, slowly every national sports event or league was canceled or suspended in recent days.
It began (for the MLB) with just suspending spring training games and pushing back the start of the regular season. Now today, there’s more news.
There was at least some assumption that while players were not going to be playing in games, they would still workout together, but fewer may stay in town than may originally be thought.
Both tweets in the above are pertinent as the first iterates that some players are risking the “state of emergency” to stay and workout, and the second gives us a sneak peek into what the future of the 2020 season could look like.
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In the first place, the fact that even ~40% of the 26-man roster is out of spring camp means that pitchers will need a ramp-up period before they are ready to play in actual games. This is exactly what Derrick Goold says (obviously) but it more or less means that MLB’s “at least two-week” delay to the start of the regular season will likely be even later.
As disappointing as this is to hear, allowing/encouraging players to leave spring training facilities is likely the smartest thing to do for the health of the players.
At this point, nothing else matters more.
As I said before, these are very strange times. At least in my lifetime, I’ve never remembered any event that caused such widespread cancellations of sports. In this instance, I don’t believe there’s a single professional sport that is still going unhindered by all this mess.
For now, player safety trumps all, but it is going to be interesting to see how the league wants to put all of this mess back together once the storm blows over.
Will we be playing baseball into November? Will the entire schedule be reworked? Will you see your favorite minor leaguers bagging groceries or delivering food in the meantime so they can still pay rent? Who knows! Stay safe for now, baseball is secondary at the end of the day. In my head, I would think a reasonable expectation would be to see baseball around Memorial Day. Hopefully not too much later.