NEW YORK – The announcement in itself wasn’t a surprise considering the many precautions being taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But on Monday, Major League Baseball did what many expected when it came to the start of their 2020 season.
The league announced that the opening of their season will be delayed due to the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation that no public events with over 50 people should be held for eight weeks.
After canceling spring training games last Thursday, MLB initially pushed back the start of the regular season to two weeks. Both the Cubs and the White Sox were scheduled to open the season on March 26th.
In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after a conference call with team owners, commissioner Rob Manfred said that spring training facilities will remain open to players with “skeleton crews.”
No organized team activities will be allowed, which has been the case since last week’s announcement. Players have the option of staying in their spring training location, going back to the team’s home city or returning to their offseason homes.
This would mark the first time since 1995 that the start of an MLB season was delayed. A player’s strike that canceled the end of the 1994 season and it lingered into spring training, so a condensed 144-game season was played as games started in late April.