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All spring training is now suspended

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No workouts, no scrimmages, no nothing ... baseball is basically dead until April

Major League Baseball Suspends Spring Training
The worst baseball luck in the world: Carson Fulmer, establishing himself so far as a legitimately good bullpen candidate for 2020, reluctantly leaves Camelback Ranch on Friday.
Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images

So, just yesterday in his Coronavirus and You podcast, Brett mused over the possibility of continuing baseball reporting (thus things to write about and address here on SSS) if players remained in camp to work out. It was a long shot, but still on the table.

Well, today that option was taken off of the table:

Earlier in the day, there were reports from some teams that “certain” players would be allowed to remain in camp and work out. There was a lot of speculation over who those “certain” players might be (Triple-A? bonus babies?) but I’m positive the reference was to international players who don’t have an easy way home, and sometimes not a comfortable existence when home.

But now, the point is moot. Spring Training is Shut Down. The always-insightful Jacob Pomrenke points out a flu-delay to the season is not unprecedented:


There’s also been some concern over what happens to student-athletes who have seen their postseason tournaments cancelled (basketball) and seasons themselves truncated (baseball). The NCAA apparently is giving at least some of those affected a chance at a do-over, and it has potentially enormous ramifications for the baseball draft, if a senior opts for a fifth year of play vs. going pro:


We’ve also seen a lot of wild speculation today about the shape a truncated/resumed season would take. Some have indicated a full season could be played, with front-end games postponed being made up at season’s end. But that’s simply impossible. The World Series already stretches to the end of October, and there’s no way that MLB wants to see its Fall Classic run into Election Day in November.

On the other end, there was talk circulating about an 81 (?)-game schedule being played, which is bizarre if only for the “half-way mark” number of games. As Brett had counted up yesterday, permanently canceling all games through May puts teams ~130 games for a full season. So even making May a resumption of spring training and starting games in June would still place the season at 100 games. Perhaps because of the fear that the coronavirus will kick back up again (possibly with a vengeance) in the colder fall months, MLB is interested in trimming both the front and back ends of the season.

We’ll see. Surely there will be more developments and news in the days to come.