Not more than 24 hours after we learned that the Mariners wouldn’t be hosting Opening Day in Seattle, we learned that they wouldn’t be playing anymore baseball for a while.
Yesterday evening, the NBA suspended play in their regular season and was soon followed by the NHL. Today, MLB followed suit and suspended operations. The Mariners and all 29 other teams will no longer open the season on March 26th and spring training have officially been declared over.
In a statement released today, MLB had this to say:
"Following a call with the 30 Clubs, and after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. today announced that MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal 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 4:00 p.m. (ET) today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Arizona have been postponed indefinitely.MLB and the Clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.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."
As a result, Opening Day 2020 is tentatively scheduled to begin on April 9th. This is subject, and perhaps likely, to change depending on the containment of the Coronavirus. MLB followed the NBA, NHL, MLS, and the NCAA in suspending operations for the foreseeable future.
The Mariners plan to keep their players in Arizona for the time being and will continue to work out at the teams’ facility in Peoria. It is unknown if the league will operate a regular 162 game schedule and many factors are still being weighed.
We will continue to update you with any breaking news as the story develops.