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Rob Manfred: “We are not going to start on April 9”

Let me first put this disclaimer out there as it pertains to all news surrounding COVID-19: It changes by the minute, so what you’re reading now will change the next time you refresh twitter.

I know April 9 was a pipe dream, but even if mid-April wasn’t realistic, perhaps early May was doable. At this point who the hell knows.

Rob Mandfred spoke to reporters in a conference call today and left them with those grim parting words. Again, it’s not surprising, but still sucks to hear.

Now what?

Had MLB been able to resume in April, even with no fans or at spring training facilities, 162-games was feasible. Had MLB been able to resume in May or June, a truncated version of the schedule was probably in order despite the desire to play all 162. With everything that has happened the past three days I don’t think mid-summer is out of the question. If that happens, then what will the season look like?

Plouffe mentions a mid-summer return with no fans. Where would these games be played? Who knows. If fans aren’t allowed then they could find a couple fields (well, I suppose they’d need about 15 fields) around the country in good weather areas and just play the games there. No need to travel from New York, to Tampa, to Chicago, to Seattle — just post-up and fit in as many games as possible to a TV-only audience.

This is obviously not desirable, but if they can avoid it, I can’t see them skipping the season entirely. Too much potential money is at stake. Again, if they can avoid it… If this thing gets worse then all bets are off.

Update: MLB season pushed back at least 8 weeks

The statement reads:

Today Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. conducted a conference call with the 30 Clubs of Major League Baseball. Following last nightโ€™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.

Among the many things that are in jeopardy, are the MLB Draft (June 10-12) and All Star Game at Dodger Stadium (July 14).

April 9 was a “best case” scenario. I don’t think we can consider May 11 the new best case scenario because for baseball to resume many things will need to happen that require gatherings of 50+ people prior to that date. If MLB (and other organizations) can’t operate on semi-normal basis until May 11, then June 1 should be considered the new best case scenario in my opinion.