Update: March 20, 2020 9:42 am EST
MLB Pledges Funds To Support Minor Leaguers
Yesterday, MLB annoucned that they pledged funds to support Minor League baseball players. In a statement released by the leauge “Each player who is under a Minor League Uniform Player Contract will receive a lump sum equal to the allowances that would have been paid through April 8. The exceptions to this plan are non-40-man-roster players who are already receiving Major League allowances; players who are currently receiving housing, food or other services from Clubs; and players who were not participating in, or expected to participate in, Minor League Spring Training. MLB remains in communication with Clubs on the development of an industry-wide plan for Minor League player compensation from April 9 through the beginning of the coming season.”
The statement continued “MLB takes the community impact of this crisis seriously. We will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts to protect fans, players, and ballpark workers, and we 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.”
Update: March 19, 2020 9:30 am EST
MLB Could Skip Draft; Service Time Big Issue
“Major League Baseball is considering skipping its amateur draft this year and putting off the next international signing period as a way to preserve cash while games are affected by the new coronavirus, people familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press.
Talks between management and the players’ association are ongoing and include the contentious issue of major league service time, which determines eligibility for free agency and salary arbitration. MLB has proposed crediting full service for 130 games or more and proportional service for a shorter season, the people said on condition of anonymity because those details have not been made public.”
Update: March 17, 2020 5:00 pm EST
MLB Teams To Help Ballpark Employees
This afternoon Major League baseball announced that all the Major league baseball teams will be donating $1 million each to assit the ballpark employees who are affected by the delayed start to the MLB 2020 season. That is a total of $30 million dollars. From the release:
“Over the past 48 hours, I have been approached by representatives of all 30 clubs to help assist the thousands of ballpark employees affected by the delay in the start of the Major League Baseball season,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Motivated by a desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each Club has committed $1 million. The individual clubs will be announcing more details surrounding this support effort in their local communities.”
Details regarding how and when the funds will be available are forthcoming on a team-by-team basis.
Update: March 17, 2020 11:00 am EST
Several Yankees Impact Players Could Return From Injury By Delayed Opening Day
The New York Yankees will catch a break as Manager Aaron Boone believes that several players that are currently recovering from spring training injuries could return to the line up by opening day due to the MLB delaying the start of the season. 12up.com has the details:
Boone mentions Judge, Stanton, and James Paxton. Judge is dealing with a stress fracture in his ribs, Stanton suffered a calf strain last month, and Paxton is recovering from offseason back surgery and was expected to return in May. Now all three get a chance to play the entire 2020 season, however long that ends up being.
This is great news for the Yankees and similar updates should begin coming out regarding injured players on other teams. If the season is not going to start for at least two months, players have plenty of time to get healthy.
Update: March 16, 2020 7:00 pm EST
MLB, MLBPA Give $1M To Help Feed The Hungry
It was announced Monday afternoon, that Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have teamed up to help ease that burden with a combined $1 million donation that will be split evenly between Feeding America and Meals on Wheels America. These contributions aim to offset food insecurity issues amid COVID-19 pandemic Commissioner Rob Manfred said in the release
In these difficult times of navigating this pandemic, it is important that we come together as a society to help the most vulnerable members of our communities.
As an institution, Baseball is extending our commitment to addressing childhood hunger and food availability issues during this crisis. We are grateful for the partnership with our players on this critical issue, which has the potential to deeply affect children and seniors.
Update: March 16, 2020 3:00 pm EST
Opening Of Regular Season To Be Pushed Back
Major League Baseball formmally announced that they are pushing back the opening of the regular season. On Monday afternoon, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. conducted a conference call with the 30 Clubs of Major League Baseball. Following last 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.
Update: March 15, 2020 5:30 pm EST
Whats The Most Realistic Date That Baseball Is Going To Start?
Jon Heyman, Insider at MLB Network, WFAN 660 in NYC, The Score in Chicago and Entercom radio; Co-host of Big Time Baseball podcast is reporting that the hoped for April 9, re-start date for baseball was always seen as a best-case scenario. With the recent developments over the past couple of days and talks with several MLB executives “today anytime before June would be viewed as welcome.”
We hate to ask the question is it worth now having an MLB season?
Update: March 15, 2020 2:00 pm EST
Yankees Minor-Leaguer Tests Positive For Coronavirus, First Known Case In Baseball
Looks like the first case of the Coronavirus has been reported in the world of baseball. Matt Weyrich of NBC Sports Washington has the details
An unidentified minor-leaguer in the New York Yankees’ organization tested positive for COVID-19 after running a fever Friday morning and subsequently being quarantined, ESPN reported.
The player attended the Yankees’ minor-league camp in Tampa Bay, Florida, this spring and didn’t work on the majors’ side of the facility.
The case marks the first known positive test of a baseball player. MLB now joins the NBA, which has three confirmed cases, and the Champions League, with one, as the only professional sports leagues dealing with active cases.
New York plays in the Grapefruit League, the same spring training league that the Nationals and Orioles compete in.
Update: March 15, 2020 11:20 am EST
Report: MLB Season Unlikely To Begin Before May
Commissioner Rob Manfred met with Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, to discuss the potential issues sure to arise as a result of the coronavirus shutdown. Though many particulars of the 2020 season are being taken into consideration, no decisions are expected in the near-term in regard to the official start to the 2020 season.
Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich pull behind the curtians in this article in The Athletic. Here are excperts from the article:
A day after commissioner Rob Manfred chose to delay the start of the season, he met with the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, Tony Clark, and other top officials in Arizona. The list of issues the sides must resolve is long, with topics ranging from service time and contract bonuses to practical matters of scheduling. At this point, industry sources believe it is unlikely the season will begin before May, which is dependent, of course, on the containment of the virus.
While most issues were unsettled as of Friday night, the sides did agree on one thing: The players are free to leave spring training if they want. They can continue to work out at their team’s spring-training facility (where activities will be significantly reduced), relocate to the city where their team plays or head home.
In an illustration of the chaos the sport faces at the moment, some players and agents expressed concern that players leaving spring training could impact another area: player compensation. Those players and agents feared if a player left camp, he would make it easier for his team to withhold pay before the beginning of the season.
While Trump’s decision appears to give MLB the right to withhold pay, Manfred is not inclined to take such a hard-line position, a source said. One possibility under discussion is the owners advancing players some of their 2020 salaries. Major leaguers are not paid until a season begins, going through spring training on a healthy per diem.
Compensation, though, is but one of many subjects under consideration as the sport enters uncharted waters.
Baseball revolves around a typical calendar of 162 games in 186 days. While it is technically possible baseball will fulfill its preference of playing 162 games in 2020, a shortened regular season appears more likely, making service time a potential issue.
No road map exists for any of the issues MLB and other professional sports leagues are facing. No one can predict when play will resume, making it all but impossible to plot the future.
Update: March 14, 2020 8:27 pm EST
NCAA Plans For Extra Eligibility For Spring Sport Athletes After Canceled Season
After the NCAA cancles thier spring season, NCAA committee announced Friday all Division I spring-sport athletes will be given an extra year of eligibility after the coronavirus pandemic caused the governing body to cancel its winter and spring championship events.
“Council leadership agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports,” the Division I Council Coordination Committee said in a statement. It is expected that the NCAA will agree to adopt the measure.
The list of NCAA spring sports includes men’s and women’s lacrosse, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, men’s volleyball, women’s rowing and outdoor track and field.
Update: March 13, 2020 4:20 am EST
New Guidance From MLB Will Be Provided To Major League Baseball Teams
Jesse Doughettry beat reporter for the Washingotn Nationals for the Washington Post is reporting that the MLB will be issuing new guidance to various major league teams. According to Doughettry, MLB will present three different opitions to all major league teams. They include:
- Stay in spring training city and receive the normal living allowances, even if you don’t go to the field.
- Go to club’s home city.
- Go home. But players’ whose homes are out of the country are being encouraged to say in the U.S., since they could have trouble returning.
Update: March 13, 2020 4:00 pm EST
Another Washington National Minor Leauge Affiliate Officially Announces A Delay In The Start Of Their Season.
Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals: The Fresno Grizzlies issue an official statement announcing the delay at the start of their season. Here is the full text of the statement via The Fresno Grizzlies:
Dear Grizzlies Family,
A lot has changed over the past few days and although we had hoped that our baseball season would start in the next couple of weeks, we will unfortunately be in hibernation a little bit longer.
Our primary concern through this ever-evolving situation is the health and well-being of our team, front office and the community. We encourage everyone to take the necessary steps in protecting themselves and their loved ones against COVID-19.
We support and appreciate the efforts by Major and Minor League Baseball along with public health officials in guiding us through the necessary steps to making sure we play ball this season.
Even though there isn’t an exact timeline of when we will back on the field again, we are excited to play baseball for you in the near future.
We know all of these changes bring a lot of questions to the table and appreciate your understanding as we work towards a resolution. We are committed to keeping our fanbase updated throughout the entire process.
Thank you for being some of the most passionate fans in Minor League Baseball and we can’t wait to see you at Chukchansi Park as soon as possible.
Update: March 13, 2020 3:20 pm EST
A Second Spring Training?
Joel Sherman from the New York Post is hearing that there will be a joint decision by Major League Baseall and the Players Assocition that they are going to be be shutting down spring facilities for anything but training i.e. no on-field baseball. Sherman also further reports that there will be a second spring training when MLB resumes at a future date. In addition, the longer they are out, the longer the second spring training will be.
Sherman is also reporting hearing that the MLB will recommend that major league teams send all their minor leaguers home.
Update: March 13, 2020 11:12 am EST
Harrisburg Senators Postpone 2020 Opening Day And The Start Of The Minor League Baseball Season.
The Double-A Affiliate of the Washington Nationals the Harrisburg Senators this morning have announced that they will be postponing the 2020 Opening Day. Full statement:
With the annoucement yesterday from Minor League Baseball that the start of the Minor League Baseball season has been postponed, Senators home games may not begin on April 16th as planned. The safety & security of fans, players & employees at the ballpark is our top priority, so we will continue to abide by gudiance provided by the Eastern League, Minor League Baseball, and city & state officials. The Sentators will keep fans & partners updated as more developments occur.
FNB Feild will not be accepting outside visitors at this time, but the Senators staff is still avialble via phone, e-mail & social media.
Baseball will be back at FNB Field as soon as it’s appropriate. We send our best wishes to all who have been affected by COVID-19.
Update: March 13, 2020 7:47 am EST
World Baseball Classic Qualifier Games Postponed
As part of Major League Baseball’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, World Baseball Classic qualifier games in Tucson, Ariz., have been postponed.
The World Baseball Classic qualifying round consists of two six-team tournaments, with the winners and runners-up from both tournaments gaining entry into the 2021 World Baseball Classic.
The first of these tournaments was set to take place from Friday through Wednesday, featuring South Africa, France, Germany, Nicaragua, Brazil, and Pakistan. The second was to run from March 20-25, with Great Britain, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, Panama, and Spain making up the field.
Update: March 12, 2020 8:10 pm EST
Was Delaying Opening Day The Right Move By MLB?
Perspective: Delaying the MLB season for safety might feel like a bad trade. But it was only deal possible via Thomas Boswell, Washington Post Columnist.
“MLB probably needed the example, and perhaps the societal pressure, of watching many sports take decisive action to slow down the coronavirus on Wednesday, including the NBA suspending its season indefinitely.”
Update: March 12, 2020 7:46 pm EST
The Washington Nationals Plan For The Rest Of Spring Training
Washington Nationals Manager Davey Martinez says the Washington Nationals plan is to stay at their spring training facility and work out together. Can we say team bonding?
Update: March 12, 2020 4:21 pm EST
Minor League Baseball Officially Delays Their Opening Day.
UPDATE: March 12, 20203:16 pm EST
MLB Officially suspends Baseball for two weeks
Here is the full text from the MLB Press Release:
Following a call with the 30 Clubs, and after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. today announced that MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans.
MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season. Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to Clubs in the coming days. As of 4:00 p.m. ET today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Arizona have been postponed indefinitely.
MLB and the Clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.
Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees, and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.
UPDATE: 2:44 pm EST
MLB Asks Players to Stay at Spring Training Sites
According to Baseball Columnist, New York Post. MLB Network Insider Joel Sherman via Twitter MLB will ask players to stay at Spring Training sites where they will have access to team medical personnel and can continue to work out:
Major League Baseball Has Reacted To The Worldwide Pandemic Of The Coronavirus And Will Suspend Spring Training Starting On Friday, March 13, 2020, According To A Report
The League Likely Will Delay The Beginning Of The Regular Season As Well.
The Coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern external icon” (PHEIC). On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19. On March 11, 2020 WHO publicly external icon characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.
Stay tuned for more information via The Nats Report in the coming days. We will be issuing a Special Report within 24 hours with all the latest updates.