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Mayors of all 8 Cactus League cities ask Rob Manfred to delay spring training

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A letter was sent to the Commissioner on Friday.

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Sunday, I wrote about the fact that players from at least one team (Cleveland Indians) have not yet been given specific reporting dates for Spring Training.

Today, a reporter for 12 News in Phoenix has tweeted that the mayors of all eight cities in the Phoenix area who host Spring Training games (Mesa, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, Surprise, Glendale, Peoria and Goodyear), along with the president of the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Indian Community (that’s where Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, spring home of the Rockies and Diamondbacks) is located and the Executive Director of the Cactus League have all signed a letter to Commissioner Rob Manfred asking for Spring Training in Arizona to be delayed:

Yes, it’s a bit small and hard to read, but the key point made is this:

... in view of the current state of the pandemic in Maricopa County — with one of the nation’s highest infection rates — we believe it is wise to delay the start of spring training to allow the COVID situation to improve here. This position is based on public data from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which projects a sharp decline in infections in Arizona by mid-March (an estimated 9,712 daily infections on February 15 and 3,072 daily infections on March 15).

We understand that any decision to delay spring training cannot be made unilaterally by MLB. As leaders charged with protecting public health, and as committed, longtime partners in the spring training industry, we want you to know we stand united on this point.

I am 100 percent in agreement with these 10 Arizona leaders. A delay of the start of Spring Training until mid-March, which would likely push back the start of the MLB season to around May 1, is the best logical course MLB could take in order to protect the health and safety of its own players and staff (as well as any fans who might be permitted to attend games), but to ensure that there could be a complete 162-game 2021 MLB season played without interruption.

I hope MLB will take this seriously and delay Spring Training and the 2021 season by about a month.

“As always, we await developments.”


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