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New target date for a normal Opening Day? June 1

Games without fans might proceed earlier, but don’t count on it

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers
Take me out to the ballgame, please: Unless MLB holds off play until at least June 1, games will be played without spectators.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Today, a new recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control specifies the earliest date for larger gatherings be eight weeks from now:

Eight weeks would end on Mother’s Day, May 10. Presuming players would need three weeks of spring training to ramp up for the season, that would set Opening Day around May 31/June 1. (If spring training could be reduced to two weeks, a Memorial Day weekend opener wouldn’t be bad, either.)

Obviously, even the CDC’s recommendation presumes that social distancing and other measures taken by our society to stem the spread of the coronavirus will work; early indications, at least if you read the Twitter feeds of many Republican lawmakers, is that maybe it won’t. But, fingers crossed, we may see baseball by June, which might provide for a season of 100 or so games.

Also, in a preview of what’s in store for Jerry Reinsdorf and the White Sox, the Bulls and Blackhawks announced they will pay idle stadium staff for lost wages due to regular season postponements:

The guess here is Reinsdorf will pay all regular gameday staff their lost wages as well, perhaps even including Camelback Ranch staff.