MLB pushes back season until at least mid-May
Major League Baseball will push its regular season back until at least May in accordance with the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here is the entire press release MLB released Monday afternoon:
On Monday, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. conducted a conference call with the 30 Clubs of Major League Baseball. Following last night’s newly updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, the opening of the 2020 regular season will be pushed back in accordance with that guidance.
MLB will keep fans updated on decisions regarding plans for the 2020 schedule in the days and weeks ahead. The Clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins. We will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts, and urge all baseball fans to follow suit. MLB extends its best wishes to all the individuals and communities who have been impacted by the coronavirus.
Because of the CDC’s restriction on events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, that means MLB games cannot be played even with no fans in attendance. There are 25 players on each roster plus coaching staffs and umpires would push the collective number well over 50 even in an empty stadium.
Eight weeks pushes MLB’s Opening Day timeline until at least mid-May. The CDC’s recommendation also applies to spring training and MLB players and teams would not be able to suit up without at least an abbreviated spring training.
The exhibition ramp-up period would be especially critical for pitchers trying to build up strength and stamina.