MLB regular season postponed at least 2 months

The 2020 MLB season will be pushed back at least two months in accordance with guidance from the CDC to restrict events of 50 for more people.

Sam Masterson
March 16, 2020 - 1:34 pm

JUPITER, Fla. (KMOX/AP) - Major League Baseball will not open the 2020 regular season until at least the middle of May, to follow guidelines from U.S. health officials during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement following a conference call with executives of the 30 teams. MLB says it is committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins.

Here is the full statement from MLB: 

"Today 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."

Related: 'Complete confusion and unknowing:' Wainwright describes Cardinals clubhouse amid COVID-19 crisis

MLB originally announced last week it was pushing Opening Day back at least two weeks, to April 9.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Sunday that gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled or postponed across the country for the next eight weeks.

In Missouri, a sixth person texted positive for COVID-19 and K-12 schools across the greater St. Louis area will close temporarily, beginning on Wednesday. 

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is ordering all bars and restaurants in the state to close to dine-in patrons starting Monday night, through March 30.

The Major League Baseball Players Association sent an email to agents on Monday saying that for players who went home or to their team’s regular-season city it would pay $1,100 allowances through April 9 to players on 40-man rosters as of March 13. That amount also would go to players with minor league contracts at big league spring training who were on 40-man rosters at the end of last season.

The union also is negotiating with MLB over resetting the dates for players with opt-out clauses in their deals. The sides also are likely to agree on a roster freeze.

This year marked the earliest opening day other than for international games. As it stood, Game 7 of the World Series would have been Oct. 28, and teams and players could push the postseason into November.

Any change to the 162-game schedule would necessitate bargaining over an array of issues, including when and how much players get paid and how much major league service they are credited for. Service time determines eligibility for free agency and salary arbitration.

MLB had not had a mass postponement of openers since 1995, when the season was shortened from 162 games to 144 following a 7 1/2-month players’ strike that also wiped out the 1994 World Series. Opening day was pushed back from April 2 to April 26 and player salaries were reduced by 11.1% because the games were lost due to a strike.

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