Major League Baseball issued a statement Monday that it will follow the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations that events exceeding 50 people be restricted over the next two months. The move officially delays the start of the season beyond the original two weeks and into at least mid-May.
The decision confirmed what many in and out of baseball already knew: The season won’t begin in April, and its absence will likely push into the summer. MLB said the following in its statement:
“Today Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. conducted a conference call with the 30 clubs of Major League Baseball. Following last night’s newly updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, the opening of the 2020 regular season will be pushed back in accordance with that guidance.
“MLB will keep fans updated on decisions regarding plans for the 2020 schedule in the days and weeks ahead. The clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins. We will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts, and urge all baseball fans to follow suit. MLB extends its best wishes to all the individuals and communities who have been impacted by the coronavirus.”
MLB canceled remaining spring training exhibition games last week and sent players, coaches and front office officials home. The Braves were to start the regular season on March 26 with a seven-game road trip to the Diamondbacks and Padres. The home opener was scheduled for April 2 against the Marlins. The regular-season games are currently listed as postponed. MLB has not announced how it will handle a season that doesn’t begin until at least mid-May.
MLB also, in partnership with the Players Association, announced it’s donated $1 million to be split between Feeding America and Meals on Wheels America in an effort to fight hunger as a result of school closures and quarantines due to the virus outbreak.
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