MLB has hit their first official speed bump on the road to getting the season started on time. In order to stay on track, the league would have to start Spring Training by February 27th as scheduled. That start date appears to be in jeopardy as Maricopa County continues to struggle with very high COVID-19 numbers.
Officials from Maricopa sent out a memo to MLB after their task force found that they will not be ready for the Spring Training report date. Despite setting up new protocols to keep fans and players safe and socially distanced, the task force found that the coronavirus infection rate was far too high to assume the risk of starting on time.
As such, they asked in the memo that MLB consider starting Cactus League activity at a later date. While they did not ask for a specific date, they reference a University of Washington study that predicted numbers in Maricopa County to drop off signifiantly by March 15. If that were the desired date, baseball activity would start just a little over 2 weeks delayed.
A delayed Spring Training start date does not necessarily mean that MLB’s Opening Day is in jeopardy. But if they were to start Spring Training in mid-March, that would leave just 2 weeks before the April 1st start date.
Whether MLB plans to actually take the recommendation into account remains to be seen. The league has yet to issue any sort of statemet in the wake of the Cactus League’s memo that was released today. But the fact that there seems to be concern on the part of Arizona officials does indicate that there are problems ahead.
One thing is for sure: MLB has a lot of things they need to get figured out over the next couple of weeks.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, interviews, live streams, and more!