Coronavirus: Major League Baseball Looks Into Resuming Season

·3 min read

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ACROSS FLORIDA — Although the Tampa Bay Rays were benched during the season's opener March 28 to 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Major League Baseball isn't ready to throw in the towel on the entire baseball season.

"The clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible," said baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr.

Major League Baseball issued a statement Tuesday morning indicating that the clubs are working on a plan to resume games while still ahering to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

“MLB has been actively considering numerous contingency plans that would allow play to commence once the public health situation has improved to the point that it is safe to do so," read the statement. "While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan."

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Among the ideas under discussion is having all 30 teams play at various fields throughout the greater Phoenix area with no fans allowed. Coaches and players living in isolation at hotels.

The statement emphasized, however, that the MLB has "not sought or received approval of any plan from federal, state and local officials, or the Players Association."

"The health and safety of our employees, players, fans and the public at large are paramount, and we are not ready at this time to endorse any particular format for staging games in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the coronavirus," said the MLB.

During a March 12 conference call between Manfred Jr. and the 30 clubs of Major League Baseball, the MLB opted to cancel spring training and opening day games for the foreseeable future in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for preventing the spread of coronavirus.

“This is an unprecedented time and this is certainly an unprecedented decision that was made in the best interest of players, fans and communities across the country,” Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said in a statement following the cancellation announcement.

See related story: NHL And MLB Suspend Seasons Due To Coronavirus Threats

If ideas to resume play don't pan out, players say they're willing to forego the season.

“It’s important to know that some things are bigger than baseball, bigger than sports," Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton told reporters at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa when the cancellation was first announced.

“We want to go out there, and we want to play, but at the same time, lives are at risk and looking at the bigger picture, we need to stay clear of everyone out there because this is just how crazy this thing is,” agreed Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier.

This isn't the first time the MLB, founded 1869, has been forced to disappoint fans.

In 1972, 86 games were canceled due to a Major League Baseball strike. Another 713 games were canceled during the strike of 1981. And the 1994-95 strike canceled the entire 1994 post-season including the World Series.

This article originally appeared on the St. Pete Patch

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