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MLB is limiting workouts, not closing spring training camps and won’t start on April 9

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They still hope to play a full schedule in 2020 — but how?

The Cubs’ workout facility in Mesa, Arizona
Al Yellon

MESA, Arizona — After a conference call with MLB team owners this morning, Commissioner Rob Manfred said that MLB spring training camps won’t be closed and players can still do informal workouts:

Manfred was at Cardinals camp in Florida when he had the conference call, which is why Derrick Goold, a Cardinals writer, had this information first.

I don’t see how MLB can play a “full schedule” if they start later than April 9. Right now it would seem the earliest possible start to the 2020 season would be around June 1, which would knock 58 games off the Cubs schedule, for example. There’s simply no way nearly two months’ worth of games can be tacked on after the scheduled end of the season September 27. So, presuming baseball does start at some point in the late spring or early summer, we are looking at a shortened season. How short remains to be seen, but there’s also this information out there:

However, this is good news:

People on gameday staffs often work two or even three jobs to make ends meet. This is good news. While they’re at it, they can compensate minor leaguers, too. Some teams (Tigers, Blue Jays, among others) have already announced they will be setting up funds to collect money for gameday staffs. Hopefully, team owners will make large contributions to those funds.

There’s more news and information about how baseball is going to proceed during this time when the USA is practicing social isolation due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has some details:

The third tweet from Rosenthal is key — check out how many things have to be negotiated between the union and team owners. Since this is a “we’re all in this together” situation, not a labor dispute, hopefully the talks will be held on a friendly, collaborative basis. One more note from Rosenthal:

Of course, a lot of those events are being cancelled anyway.

I went over to Cubs camp this morning. Saturday, when I was at the “last tailgate”, the Cubs Store had posted a sign that they’d be open at 10 a.m. today. Thought maybe I could pick up a bargain, as the stores did in Peoria and Goodyear. But there was a sign on the door today saying the store was “closed indefinitely.”

Some fans were hanging around, maybe a couple dozen, perhaps thinking players would be around later to sign autographs. That seems unlikely.

We are, every one of us, in uncharted territory. Here at BCB we’re going to provide some simulations of Cubs games via MLB The Show, to fill your days with some baseball even if it’s not real.

Hang in there. We are all in this together.