Last week, the Cubs (and many other teams) announced that they would be keeping spring camps open for players who wanted to stay in Arizona and have individual and team workouts, with staff around to assist.
Now, this might no longer be the case:
MLB expected to send out guidelines advising teams to end organized group workouts at spring and home parks, sources tell me and @EvanDrellich. Camps would remain open for individual needs, but with limited staff. Idea is stricter compliance with social-distancing practices.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 15, 2020
A manager just told me that MLB and the MLBPA have a meeting scheduled for today where guidelines will be clarified, but spring training complexes are not expected to fully shut down, and should have minimal staff to handle player needs on an individual basis.— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) March 15, 2020
So players could conceivably stick around Mesa to keep in shape, but there wouldn’t be any organized team activities, although:
Players are a little bit confused as to what “organized” means, since most of them are just participating in informal workouts already. But it’s about adhering to social-distancing guidelines, which means there can be no large groups and nothing organized formally.— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) March 15, 2020
Here are more details:
1/From the MLB memo to clubs: The strong recommendation from our infectious disease and public health experts is that Clubs should avoid all activities in which players congregate in significant numbers or are otherwise unable to practice— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 15, 2020
2/the “social distancing” protocols recommended by the CDC. The risk of a player in a Club facility contracting the virus is real, and we must implement protocols to protect the safety and well-being of our players and staff members. In addition, we must recognize that— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 15, 2020
3/there is the potential for further federal and state restrictions that will impact our operations, including restrictions on travel.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) March 15, 2020
According to Joel Sherman, there will be a MLB conference call with the commissioner’s office and team owners at noon Eastern time Monday to update them on the status of discussions with the MLBPA on what’s going to happen next. Here’s more information:
The full memo Major League Baseball has sent to teams about spring training: pic.twitter.com/LihlK1F2C6— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 15, 2020
As we have seen in recent days, events are moving very rapidly and changes in all realms of American society can happen, not just in baseball.
It would seem, at this point, that the “at least two weeks” that the 2020 MLB season was originally announced to be delayed will likely be quite a bit longer than that. Optimistically, I would think that we might see baseball by May 1, though it still could be after that.
Stick around BCB for further updates on news concerning baseball and the novel coronavirus, as well as other baseball-related content. We are working on a way to put together simulated games for which we’d have previews, game threads and recaps, a way to have some baseball, even if it’s not real. I’ll be posting more history articles about the Cubs and baseball, too. If there are other baseball-related things you’d like to see on this site as we await the return of real baseball, please let me know.
Hang in there. As Theo Epstein said the other day, we are all in this together.