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MLB Coronavirus: "There's No Crying in Baseball", MLB delays Opening Day

MLB’s 2020 season was scheduled to start on March 26th. But because of Covid-19’s outbreak, extreme measures were taken. At first instance, baseball season is postponed until no earlier than April 9th.

This has affected many other areas around America’s favorite pastime.

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What will happen to Spring training?

Spring training was canceled according to MLB’s press release. It would not be a far-fetched thought that the MLB would still install a pre-season measure of sorts for when it’s going to start.

Is there a date for 2020’s first pitch?

There is no set date yet. MLB plans to wait at least two weeks or maybe push it into mid-may, ideally. But it depends on how the coronavirus evolves to determine whether the season starts there or is rescheduled. 

Preliminary dates have been set in case they have to further push the opening day. Memorial Day (May 25), middle of June, 4th of July, August 1st or, worst-case scenario, canceling the season.

Apart from these five different scenarios, the next concern is not to compete with football season, so we can rest assured that the MLB is looking to avoid having their defining moments in September.

Have other American sports been affected?

MLB was the last league to act. NBA, MLS, NHL all acted before MLB decided to take action. Covid-19 has effectively paused major sports.

Most of them are reviewing the situation as to when they will resume, start, or cancel their respective seasons. When the virus is controlled, we’ll have plenty of sports to watch and play on our screens.

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Will this affect the season’s format?

Depending on when the season starts, teams would shorten their schedule for at least 12 games, meaning they would play 150 or fewer games instead of the usual 162. Nonetheless, teams have stated their commitment to play as many games as possible.

Some other sacrifices will probably take place as well, from taking fewer days off between games to shorten the season and canceling All-Star Game.

How will it impact players?

So, at first, the season will be shortened, this will mean that the players will have fewer days off to rest between games. 

Secondly, contract bonuses and stipulations can be unreachable. These clauses work towards reaching objectives (i.e., reaching 15 Home-runs per season gives you $X amount). So by having fewer games, they have no margin or time to achieve those goals, and therefore, won’t be able to earn money bonuses.

Lastly, it’s not clear as to how MLB will proceed as far as pre-season goes. Players won’t be in optimal shape if you start the season right away, and the MLB can’t afford to delay the season much more, so first few weeks will probably be more of tuning up their form rather than to win games, and in a shortened season, every game counts.

Are there any players infected with coronavirus?

As of right now, no MLB player has tested positive for Covid-19. However, an unnamed Yankee prospect has tested positive. He is in the minor leagues.

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