Statement from Major League Baseball: pic.twitter.com/0bWS5VTRPu— MLB (@MLB) March 12, 2020
UPDATE (3/12/20 - 10:35 a.m.): Per a tweet by ESPN's Jeff Passan, Major League Baseball is expected to suspend spring training. Details are forthcoming.
After a conference call among owners this afternoon, Major League Baseball is expected to suspend spring training. The league likely will delay the beginning of the regular season as well. At this point, it's a formality that ownership-level sources expect to happen.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 12, 2020
UPDATE: Per a report by CBS Sports, the MLB issued a statement after a conference call with 30 team owners yesterday (Monday, March 9) about the spread of coronavirus. The remainder of spring training games and the regular season will continue to go on as planned, but "only players and essential personnel may enter locker rooms and clubhouses at MLB facilities." Players will only be available to media in press conferences and other settings.
Good news for Cactus League baseball fans.
Per a memo obtained by Jeff Passan at ESPN, Major League Baseball doesn't plan on postponing or canceling any spring training games due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19. This also applies to when the regular season begins on Thursday, March 26.
The memo was distributed to baseball officials this morning, March 3. It says the league has created an internal task force to deal with any complications as the season progresses through the summer and offers suggested preparations for teams, including:
- Players avoid taking balls and pens directly from fans to sign autographs and not shake hands.
- Teams communicate with their local public health authority.
- Medical teams ensure that all players have received the current flu vaccine and other vaccinations are current.
Editor's note: This piece has been updated frequently since it originally ran on March 3.