It looks like baseball season will have a late start this year. After some consideration, Major League Baseball has decided to suspend Spring Training games and delay the start of the 2020 season. Due to the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MLB suspension has postponed schedules for at least two weeks.
According to a statement shared on the official MLB Twitter account, after talks with commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. and a call with the teams in the league, the MLB has decided to take action in order to protect the health and safety of its community.
"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.”
Opening day had previously been scheduled for March 26.
“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," reads the statement.
The Blue Jays Home Opener will now be pushed back to a later date. There's currently no word as to when it will be rescheduled.
“This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, clubs, and our millions of loyal fans,” the MLB notice explained.
Statement from Major League Baseball: https://t.co/0bWS5VTRPu— MLB (@MLB)1584040221.0
Responding to the news, the Toronto Blue Jays statement read, “The Blue Jays are working in real-time coordination with Major League Baseball, Toronto Public Health, The Public Health Agency Of Canada, and The Centre For Disease Control and Prevention.”
Their notice added, “The safety of our fans, staff, and players is at the forefront of our planning.”
Statement from the Toronto Blue Jays: https://t.co/dn3YnNpcbS— Toronto Blue Jays (@Toronto Blue Jays)1584042257.0
This decision came hours after the NHL decided to put a pause on their season, having cancelled practices, morning skates, and team meetings for the day.
The NBA made the first move on March 11, cancelling games for the day and suspending the basketball season for 30 days. This came after one Utah Jazz player tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Depending on when MLB resumes its regular schedule, some teams may be forced to play without fans or at different venues to usual.