Major League Baseball commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr., has announced that the Opening Day of 2020 season will be delayed for at least two weeks.
MLB Network's Greg Amsinger and Tom Verducci discussed the announcement on MLB Tonight and noted that a two week delay is a conservative, best-case scenario. It is certainly a possibility that the delay could be longer.
Manfred consulted with the MLB Players Association and then made calls to the heads of all 30 MLB teams before the decision was made. Spring Training games were also suspended as of 4:00 PM EST today. The decision was made for the overall safety of the players, coaches, staff of all clubs, and mostly for the safety of fans.
MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season. Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to Clubs in the coming days. As of 4 p.m. ET today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Ariz., have been postponed indefinitely.
Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.
Major League Baseball is following the NBA who has suspended games until further notice, as well as the NHL, NCAA Basketball, NFL, and Pro Soccer. Interestingly, the PGA Tour made a statement that The Players Championship, which began today, would proceed normally (and it did), but the PGA Tour made an updated statement as well.
It remains to be seen how long these delays will occur. The concerns over the spread of the coronavirus certainly won't end overnight, and all sports will be impacted in one way or another until health officials provide more information. These delays have a major impact on the economics of these sports, the players, and and the clubs and organizations involved.