We wrote this morning about the new recommended guidelines released late on Sunday night from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) and restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks and how that would almost certainly lead to baseball, and sporting events as a whole being pushed back. Well it didn’t take long for Major League Baseball to confirm that would be happening – they just released this statement.

Today Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. conducted a conference call with the 30 clubs of Major League Baseball. Following last night’s newly updated recommendations for 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 suite. MLB extends its best wishes to all the individuals and communities who have been impacted by the coronavirus.

They have not given any dates, and this time around, unlike the last update provided that was “at least two weeks delayed for opening day”, aren’t offering any guess at a timeline, either. With that said, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says that he is hearing that July 4th is the best case scenario for the start of the season.

It’s going to be a while, folks.

15 Responses

  1. CI3J

    So my personal belief and my experience with this virus is maybe, MAYBE, mid-June will be time for baseball. But if the peak lasts a lot longer in America than it did in China, like I’m expecting, that’s not going to happen either. You might be looking at a half a season of baseball. And at that point, it might be time to just consider cancelling the whole season.

    I like the optimism on this board, but I have lived through this virus. I’ve seen what it can do to society. People who are still optimistic don’t yet realize what’s about to hit you. I’m not being alarmist, I’m speaking from experience.

    This is the comment I made yesterday. I liked that people were hoping for Memorial Day, but even before the CDC issued their “8 Weeks” advisory, I could have told you that was completely unrealistic.

    And now, here we are. I think July 4th is a good day to shoot for, but I’m still very disheartened by how many Americans still don’t seem to be taking this virus seriously. When you have people in power encouraging you to go outside and downplaying how serious it is, that’s simply a recipe for disaster and may make the peak in America last weeks or even months longer than what it was in China. It’s sad and depressing to see.

    In light of this, I think even July 4th is a little optimistic.

    • TR

      Depending on where you live and if there’s not a lot of people around, I think going outside and getting some fresh air is good. Walking is usually better than sitting around most of the day.

      • CI3J

        I meant they were encouraging people to go to restaurants and fly on airplanes. If you’re in the countryside, by all means, go outside and walk around. But do not go outside where you are likely to meet other people.

  2. Matt WI

    Wait… what if they play all the games at Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field? There’s never enough fans there… everyone could have their own row. Think flexibly, MLB! 😉

  3. B-town fan

    I think that when the June start comments came out a few days ago, and there was talk of a 100 game season and this might sound depressing, then after these latest comments, when you start whittling that down further to 80 maybe 70 or even lower then what’s the point, a 50 game season would be a joke. When I first heard of the cancellations of baseball games at the beginning, I thought half jokingly to my self they should just come back next spring training, now god forbid it’s starting to look like a remote possibility.

  4. Sliotar

    FWIW … 2 data points from this afternoon…

    President just concluded a press conference in which he said the crisis could extend into July or August.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/trump-admits-that-coronavirus-crisis-could-stretch-into-july-or-august.html

    Also …. I am scheduled to run in the Columbus Half-Marathon.
    Just got an e-mail that it has been re-scheduled from April 29 to August 29.

    https://www.10tv.com/article/capital-city-half-marathon-rescheduled-late-august-2020-mar

    Hard to believe they would commit to an August date without government/health department assurances that crisis peak will have passed by then. Runners are packed together in the “corral” before the start/finish line.

    Maybe a light at the end of the non-sports tunnel … but, enough to have a 75 or 81 game regular season? “Every game is a playoff game.”

  5. Klugo

    I would’ve never entertained the idea of the entire season being canceled, but, at this point, nothing would surprise me.

  6. Steven Nelson

    What’s the reason to not just play in empty stadiums? They’re paying the players anyway. There’s going to be plenty of people at home with nothing to do. Why not watch/listen to baseball?

    If they do skip half the season, I hope they erase the playoffs and just schedule more games instead. Team with the best record goes to the world series. There has to be more money in 30 teams playing than in just a handful.

    • Doug Gray

      Why not? Because the CDC says it’s a bad idea to have that many people congregated together. You can’t play a game, have 56 players, four umps, 16 coaches/staff, 8 clubhouse guys, all of the media for tv and radio crew – that just adds up to a lot of people. And right now the doctors/experts are all saying this is a bad idea.

      • BK

        That true as of today and it is the broad guidance for everyone at a time where there is a lot of ubiquity. The guidance is designed to slow the spread of the disease in order to protect lives and ultimately help the nation return to normal.

        MLB needs to work with the medical authorities to come up with a plan to do exactly what Steven is suggesting as a first step to returning to normalcy. The could start with a 14-day quarantine, then test the players/umpires and support staff. Next, play from the spring training facilities without fans–this minimizes travel and avoids interaction with additional people. MLB would be poised to move back to normal once the CDC and other health authorities concur. There are parts of society that will take longer to get back to normal. As an outdoor sport involving little personal contact, baseball has an opportunity, if it is creative, to provide a boost to the morale of our nation. Can this be done now, no. Could it be done in 30 days, almost certainly.

  7. RedNat

    To be honest i believe sports wont start back up until there is a vaccine for this deadly virus and then the majority of people will have to be vaccinated . Likely 2 missed seasons before baseball returns and than a year after that before fans are allowed to return to the stands. It stinks but if we are really concerned about public health this is the safest way to do it.

    • TBD

      RedNat
      Hopefully 2 missed seasons will not happen.
      I’ve heard that the Spanish Flu of 1918 took about 1 year to play out throughout the world.

      • RedNat

        I hope so too, but you didn’t have the litigation back then that you did now. I just can’t imagine the players risking their lives to play without protection in the form of vaccinations. I just read where they may have a vaccine by this fall which would be record time. if so 2021 could be a possibility!. but again I cant imagine fans attending until the following year. just way too risky.

      • RedsFan11

        1 year in 1918 when travel took so much longer. It is essentially worldwide already. Lets hope by July this is all over.

  8. JayTheRed

    I am now predicting that we have no baseball season this year. 🙁
    Everything is just going in the wrong direction and people are not even going to have money to go to games because no one will be working soon if rumors continue as they are. I’ve read and heard on news sources that they are considering a complete lockdown of the country and that only essential personnel, aka police, hospital, fire and things like that will be the only jobs allowed to go to work. Excluding online jobs of course.

    Recession here we come. I really wonder what kind of financial situation this will cause the players, owners and just everyone in the near future.