Major League Baseball Suspends Season Over Coronavirus
Reports indicate that Major League Baseball is preparing to suspend its season as a consequence of the coronavirus, making the league the latest sporting and economic institution to be disrupted as a result of the virus’ hectic spread.
Reporters within the baseball world confirmed Thursday that many league executives and owners are expecting the Commissioner of the league to announce that operations will be suspended, with the start of the regular season delayed.
After a conference call among owners this afternoon, Major League Baseball is expected to suspend spring training. The league likely will delay the beginning of the regular season as well. At this point, it's a formality that ownership-level sources expect to happen.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 12, 2020
A suspension of Major League Baseball operations would follow recent suspensions of the NBA and the NHL.
It’s relatively unprecedented for major American sports leagues to simply close up shop. The last time a halt of similar circumstances took place was in 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
Baseball’s Commissioner, Rob Manfred, has the luxury of suspending play while the league is in the midst of spring training, akin to a pre-season. A disruption during the regular season would prove far more economically damaging to the industry, which supports thousands of American jobs.
The league formally confirmed a suspension on operations on a tweet on Thursday afternoon. Spring training games are cancelled as of Thursday and the regular season is officially delayed by two weeks.
While the suspension of sporting leagues such as Major League Baseball proves an unpleasant development to baseball fans, it’s probably for the best that luxuries such as sports are put on hiatus while American society works to get a hold of the coronavirus threat.