When the Coronavirus aided in pulling the baseball rug out from underneath our feet last week, the next wonder was “when will baseball be back?” Initially, the report said that opening day would only be pushed back by two weeks. Then it was “April 9th is not likely” and that became maybe by May?
Now June appears to be a loose target and even that could be a best-case scenario. On Monday, MLB issued a press release regarding the season.
On Monday, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. conducted a conference call with the 30 Clubs of Major League Baseball. Following Sunday 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.
With the season in flux, it seems that MLB finally admitted to a truncated schedule when (if) the season starts.
"The clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins."
— Clint Pasillas (FRG) (@realFRG) March 17, 2020
The second line of that second paragraph stands out most “clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins”. While it’s been a foregone conclusion that the regular season would not be played in full, this marks the first official time the MLB has conceded as much.
Manfred expanded on this with a wait and see approach according to MLB scribe Mark Feinsand.
We’re not going to announce an alternate Opening Day at this point. We’re going to have to see how things develop. I think the commitment of the clubs is to play as many baseball games in 2020 as we can, consistent with the safety of our players and our fans — Hopefully we can reach an agreement that will give a lot of people clarity as to how we’re going to proceed going forward.
The way things are going, gut feeling tells you that 100 games of regular season baseball would be a huge win. In the interim, it seems like the best thing people could do to get baseball back is to respect one another and stay as isolated as possible until we’re out from under this.