We are living through extraordinary times, not just in the USA but all over the world, due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
The spread of the virus has cancelled all sorts of sports leagues and events, and now Major League Baseball is following the lead:
Official: MLB suspending spring-training games and delaying start of regular season by at least two weeks.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 12, 2020
Spring training is cancelled as of 4pm eastern today— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 12, 2020
The MLB season was supposed to begin two weeks from today, Thursday, March 26. All 30 teams were to be in action, including the Cubs facing the Brewers in Milwaukee.
The announcement as noted by Ken Rosenthal means the earliest the 2020 MLB season could begin would be Thursday, April 9. MLB said in a press release:
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.
That statement could mean that the entire 2020 schedule could be re-worked to balance it out between divisional opponents, league opponents and interleague opponents. As of now, the Cubs are scheduled to be in Pittsburgh on April 9, but return home April 10 to face the Cardinals. That schedule could wind up being completely changed, and the season shortened. We just don’t know as of now.
MLB also announced that the World Baseball Classic qualifiers, which were to have begun today in Tucson, Arizona, are “postponed indefinitely.”
The Cubs wrap up their spring season, therefore, with a 7-12-1 record and the last game was Wednesday night, a game in which they were no-hit for six innings and Daniel Descalso broke that up. Go figure.
This is unprecedented in MLB history. When 9/11 happened, the schedule was suspended for a week, but those games were all made up. It seems likely that this delay — if it lasts only two weeks, and it could be longer — would wind up cancelling part of the 2020 season.
We will have material here at Bleed Cubbie Blue. What exactly that material will be, I cannot tell you at this time — this situation is as new to me as it is to you. Over the coming days and weeks I’ll hope to have relevant articles not just to the current situation, but to anything Cubs- and baseball-related.
In the meantime, please keep yourself and your loved ones safe. One of the reasons for sports cancellations now is to do exactly that.
Stay tuned, and Go Cubs.