The novel coronavirus has hit college baseball like a pitch to the wrist. Schools across the country are accounting for COVID-19 in their own fashion, usually guided by the conference. As much as the landscape changes, anything I report as accurate might be outdated in three days. Or 20 minutes. Here are some of the stunners that flew as Wednesday progressed.
The Ivy League has cancelled their spring sports, though some Wednesday games were played:
The Ivy League Presidents are announcing their unanimous decision to cancel all spring athletics practice and competition through the remainder of the academic year amid further developments in the outbreak of COVID-19.— The Ivy League (@IvyLeague) March 11, 2020
» https://t.co/LVTUxHsswo pic.twitter.com/VAL7IkBWaB
None of the five weekend series are being played. Kyle Hendricks attended Dartmouth, as did Cubs pitching prospect Duncan Robinson. The Ivy League isn't a baseball hotbed, but it's still important for the players on the squads.
MLB teams are considering, or already have decided to pull scouts from scouting:
Multiple Major League Baseball teams have started pulling scouts off the road and sending them home because of coronavirus concerns, sources tell ESPN. Others have simply canceled travel. Officials expect most, if not all, teams to take similar action within a matter of days.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 12, 2020
The draft in June has been moved to Omaha to make the event more fan-friendly, as fans are being kept away from games. Tough timing for Rob Manfred. The draft would be as useful from remote locations. The third round gets "phoned in" already, so having nobody in Omaha is entirely possible.
Lucas Giolito, Jack Flaherty, and Max Fried were on the same high school team. That school, Harvard-Westlake, has cancelled their season:
Harvard-Westlake to shut down sports program effective Thursday https://t.co/JhWRpndaJP— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) March 11, 2020
Their current team has Pete Crow-Armstrong, who figures to go in the first round. Third baseman Drew Bowser is a potential second-rounder.
The University of Rhode Island is banning fans from attending games until at least the start of April.
The University of Michigan will only allow players, essential personnel, and two family members at games until April 21. Not to be outdone, the entire Big Ten cancelled fans at spring events:
Add Cal State Fullerton to the mix. Same thing at TCU. The SEC is keeping out fans until at least March 30.
How can a scout assess how a player develops if there are no games to watch? I'm worn out from a day of hitting refresh.