As the world continues to grow less and less recognizable from our day-to-day routine, sports continues to recede into the background of concern during the coronavirus outbreak. And yet, as one of the most stable indicators of everyday life, their return is still hotly anticipated for most of us. Based on the latest from MLB offices, though, we could be in for a long wait.
According to a press release from Monday afternoon, MLB is no longer targeting April 9 as the start of the season. Following guidance released on Sunday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MLB is going to avoid gatherings of 50 or more people for at least 8 weeks. This puts a start date in May as the absolute soonest the Rockies will take the field.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that, after a conference call with team owners, commissioner Rob Manfred will not commit to a potential starting date but notes that camps will remain open and limited workouts will be allowed to continue for the time being.
The question then becomes: when can we expect to see Major League Baseball return to action? Some players and coaches are speculating that it won’t be until July, especially considering the long lead time pitchers will need to ramp back up to game readiness. However, MLB seems committed to getting in as many games as possible, though the standard line of “We hope to still play all the games” seems especially far-fetched at this point.
And that’s just the start of the issues. The Players Association and the league are going to have to sort through a number of issues, from roster freezes, to spring training allowances, and much, much more.
3. Talks with MLB continue on host of issues, including: Conditions for resumption of play; amended scheduling; player salaries; service time; contracts and transactions; core economics; amateur signings and potential adjustments for collectively bargained dates and deadlines.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 16, 2020
However, there does seem to be some good news. Following the lead of NBA and NHL franchises who have had their seasons interrupted, it seems like MLB will advise owners to cover costs for stadium workers who won’t be able to work.
DeWitt tells us that #MLB is going to be making a recommendation to all clubs about how to help compensate game-day and part-time staff. “There are people who will need that help,” DeWitt says. #cardinals https://t.co/tevcc9dSkS— Derrick S. Goold (@dgoold) March 16, 2020
We’ll have to band together as a Purple Row community over the next few weeks and months. Know that we are discussing all sorts of ideas for how to keep feeding your desire for baseball and Rockies coverage. If you have any ideas, feel free to drop us a comment or, if you’re feeling extra brainstormy, a FanPost!
(h/t to Bleed Cubbie Blue on some of these extra details).