MLB ends spring training; players
may go home
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[March 14, 2020]
Major League Baseball declared an early end to spring
training on Friday, allowing players to return home if they wish.
A day earlier, MLB had halted all Grapefruit League and Cactus
League action while announcing that the regular season would be
delayed at least two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It was initially unclear whether players and teams would remain
together in Florida and Arizona.
Multiple media outlets reported that MLB officials met with
officials from the MLB Players Association on Friday before
releasing a statement that read, in part, "Major League players can
elect to return home, remain in their Spring Training cities, or
return to their Club's home city. This step is in the best interests
of players, employees and the communities who host Spring Training.
"MLB will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the
precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts.
We send our best wishes to all the individuals and communities who
have been impacted by coronavirus."
According to Forbes, the MLBPA advised players to go to their
"I think it's probably best for guys to be able to go home until we
figure out more as far as where we're going to be and what our
timeline and schedule is looking like," Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher
Jameson Taillon, the team's player representative, said on a
New York Yankees players, however, voted unanimously to remain in
Tampa and conduct informal workouts.
"We have a shot at a World Series title," Yankees pitcher Zack
Britton, the club's player rep, told MLB.com. "We want to be
prepared to seize that opportunity. Guys aren't panicking about this
thing. We understand that it's serious, but the Yankees have a ton
of resources in the area. We feel like this is a good place for us
Yankees manager Aaron Boone, general manager Brian Cashman and the
team's training and conditioning staffers also will stay in Tampa,
according to MLB.com.
"The players have been fantastic," Cashman said. "There's no script
here that we can all fall back on and rely upon. I think there's a
recognition of that there's a lot of unknowns, so there's a lot of
really cool conversations about suggestions. There's a lot of
[to top of second column]
An empty practice field
near George M. Steinbrenner Field is seen following the cancellation
of a spring training game between the Detroit Tigers at New York
Yankees due to the Covid 19 coronavirus outbreak. Major League
Baseball is also delaying the start of the regular season by at
least two weeks. Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
"We've tried to map out the best next steps, and we all recognize
it's going to take a lot of give and take, with understanding and
compassion and empathy along the way."
Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said on a conference
call, "We're trying to make sure (player travel) happens in a safe
and orderly manner. For players who want to stay here, we will have
the facility available to them if they want to stay here and,
obviously, we're going to continue and intensify all the precautions
taken to make sure this is a clean and safe environment for
Atlanta Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos
said on a conference call, "I think everyone understands the
circumstances right now. No one has ever faced anything like this. I
think everyone knows things are fluid and things are changing. We're
getting information and updates. But you just have to look at this
week to see how much things have changed. So, at this point, we
can't get too far ahead of ourselves."
Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore told the Kansas City
Star, "The one thing I know about professional athletes and baseball
players, they adapt really well. You never want to miss time. These
guys have pinpointed Opening Day once the season concluded in 2019,
but they'll adjust. For some of our players, a little extra time
will be good for them physically and mentally."
--Field Level Media
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