Here we (don’t) go: Season opening postponed

Remainder of spring training is canceled and the regular season has been delayed.

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 p.m. ET today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Ariz., 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.

51 thoughts on “Here we (don’t) go: Season opening postponed

    • I really enjoyed reading this piece. But I got nervous more than once. Would you make it in, or out?

      • Thanks for the compliment. There were many brief and some sustained moments of anxiety, but they were obviously manageable.

        Just learned my Tuesday night flight is canceled, rescheduled for Friday night to LAX. Would love to meet up sometime when all this is over and I happen to be in the Southland (or you’re in the Bay Area).

  1. How’s everyone doing? In lockdown here in L. A. but We are doing okay. I miss my kids and grandkids. FaceTiming helps. Love to all of you. RBI

    • I’m still at my friend’s house in Santiago de Chile, with three days to go before my flight to Mexico City and SFO. Feeling fine, but the uncertainty is still unnerving. I take short walks in this modest residential neighborhood, avoiding everybody insofar as is possible. Not many people out, even on a pleasant Saturday afternoon – think mid-September in LA – with face masks an increasingly common sight.

    • We’re not in a formal lockdown yet. We have grocers designating their first business hour of each day for seniors, which would be great but that’s typically 5:00 or 6:00 AM. Staying away from others as much as possible, since I’m in the vulnerable cohort and Mom even more so.

  2. MLB Rumors listed Hernandez as one of 6 potential bounce back players.

    Enrique Hernandez, UTIL, Dodgers:

    “The versatile Hernandez was quite effective in 2018, during which he posted 3.2 fWAR, but that number checked in at a far less impressive 1.2 last season. The problem? A massive decline in offensive production. Hernandez’s wRC+ (88) represented a 30-point fall, while his OPS (.715; .237/.304/.411) lost 91 points. It didn’t help that Hernandez endured a 4-plus percent increase in strikeouts and a 3 percent decrease in walks.”

  3. Today I crossed the border from Bariloche (Argentina) into Chile. Chile will close that border for at least two weeks starting Wednesday.

      • I’m at a friend’s house in Santiago now. I managed to change my flight back from April 29th to LAX and SFO to next Tuesday March 24 via MEX.

  4. Just curious how you dear friends in the US are doing? I realize that many but certainly not all that post here are in California. It seems like the virus is hitting the coastal states hardest right now. How is it in some of the other states as well?

    Here in Manitoba, all the schools, universities, community centers, etc are closing up or will be very soon – even though there are still very few (3) reported cases across the province.

    • Here’s a global map that’s highly trustworthy.

      Hawai’i has only two confirmed cases, both people who were infected while traveling. All our college sports are canceled. The biggest hula competition and an annual song contest by the biggest private school have been canceled. I expect more to follow.

    • Most (if not all) of the New England states have declared states of emergencies, and like Manitoba have closed the schools and universities. Since I teach at a university, I will be teaching online after spring break, which is this week. The plan is to be back on campus April 6th, which is likely too optimistic, but we’ll see. They kicked everyone out of the dorms, but after people pointed out that some of the students couldn’t go home yet, they made arrangements to put them up in hotels.

      Some people are hoarding stuff. I went food shopping yesterday (I just needed some meat and cheese), and the register lines at the warehouse club went all the way to the back of the store. I saw some people buying extra tanks for their gas grills, as if they are worried the virus will somehow infect the electric grid. It’s like preparing for a blizzard or a hurricane is the only way they know how to prepare. They aren’t thinking. The local supermarkets were better, but still more crowded than usual.

    • Here in Mexico response by the government has been timid, with the president following Trump’s playbook. 26 cases to date, with a couple of recent ones from community transmission. Only last night came the recommendation to avoid large gatherings, but music festival with 100k still scheduled for this weekend. Almost nothing in terms of screening incoming flights and with Spring Break coming up there will be a big influx. Guatemala, on the other hand, which I believe has one case, has limited the ingress from countries with outbreaks, including the US.

      I lived the swine virus outbreak here in 2009, when the government was far more aggressive.

        • In Aus, I am still teaching at school (pretty much class only – no events, no assemblies ,no carnivals etc), as i government says that closing schools would put too much strain on other important professions, such as health care workers who may need to give up work in order to look after the kids

      • Are you living in a place where the temperature is greater than 78? That might help but who knows.

        • What I read recently is that absolute humidity is the key in that drier air facilitates transmission. Flew in last night to the beach from Mexico City, so better environment on that score. As well, at sea level versus more-than-a-mile high Mexico City should improve breathing capacity if I were to get the virus. Downside is that our small beach community is full of expat retirees, so any outbreak here would quickly overwhelm local medical services.

          • I will spend four hours at Benito Juárez next Tuesday, waiting for connection to SFO. Air is dry here in Santiago, with 44 percent humidity.

          • Relative humidity right now in CDMX is about 46%, but the temperature is about 10 degrees higher, so that means that absolute humidity is higher than in Santiago, no?

          • Presently, it’s slightly warmer in Santiago. We’ll have a high of 84°, while DF’s will be 80°. In any event, I won’t be leaving the DF airport, which I presume has a/c.

          • Actually, the article I read on this recommended that places like airports and malls turn off the ac to reduce transmission.

          • I’ll be there early in the morning, when the temperature’s not likely to be too hot at that altitude. For the moment, I continue self-quarantined in my friend’s house, though it has a couple nearby parks I can walk around where there are few people during the daylight hours. I also leave for small purchases at the local shop.

          • Mexicans are familiar with social distancing given the experience of 2009. Airport may be busy as people traditionally flee from the city for Semana Santa. Good luck!

          • I love the Uruguayan rebranding as “Semana de Turismo.” Fortunately, I’ll only be changing planes in the international terminal, so maybe I’ll avoid the worst.

          • I love just about everything regarding Uruguay. There is no international terminal, per se, but guessing it’s Terminal 2, which is probably the better of the two to pass through.

          • Actually, it appears I arrive with LATAM at Terminal One, but the connector to SFO is with Aeroméxico, which appears to use Terminal Two. Will I have to pass through security again? Any other consejos?

          • I have never transited through that airport, so not sure that I can be very helpful. Moreover, you need to go from one terminal to another. They have a train that does that, but that requires you to go through immigration and customs to get to. I don’t know if there is other transport that does not require you to pass through them. Do you know if your bags will be checked through, otherwise you might have to schlep them on the train?

    • Been practicing social distancing for 8 days – which looks a lot like writing in my home office. No kids or grandkids coming around though, which is hard. FaceTiming them but not the same! Scary times for all. And I miss my ST baseball!

  5. Presuming baseball resumes late, if the schedule has to be altered I recommend eliminating all interleague games.

    • Can’t do that with two 15-team leagues. The odd teams from each league have to play each other. Otherwise, I’d be for it.

    • I totally thought the same thing! It would knock 20 games of the schedule while leaving a balanced schedule for deciding true division champions. I get how it will be a nightmare to reformat the schedule but I agree with the theory of this.

  6. I was figuring that if I didn’t have to go into school, I could at least watch a few ballgames. Bother.

  7. Not that sports is the priority at all right now, but I do wonder how late in the year baseball can suspend operations and still feel like they can actually get the season going?