Major League Baseball becomes the latest sport to postpone action in light of the coronavirus pandemic, delaying the start of the regular season for at least two weeks and canceling spring-training games effective immediately.
In addition, 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Arizona have been postponed indefinitely. as has the beginning of the 2020 Minor League Baseball season.
The move comes after a meeting this morning with Commissioner Rob Manfred and the reps from all 30 teams.
Major League Baseball had struggled with an appropriate response to the coronavirus pandemic and is the last major sport to announce a postponement of the season: MLS, NBA and NHL all announced season postponements or pauses yesterday and this morning.
According to a press release issued by Major League Baseball, “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.”
Here’s the official statement from Minor League Baseball: “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.”