Most, if not everyone, reading this is probably familiar with the term coronavirus or COVID-19. If not, sorry to be the bearer of bad news here, but there is a flu-like virus spreading across the world in pandemic fashion. Many colleges and workplaces have closed, entire cities have mandated quarantines, and mini hand sanitizer bottles now costs $50.
Rightfully, this is a concern to Major League Baseball. Large gatherings of people have been discouraged to prevent the spread of the virus, which is largely what baseball games are. The league has already forbidden media in the locker room to help control the spread of the virus:
Major League Baseball will join the NBA and NHL in closing clubhouses to media due to fear over potential spread of coronavirus, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 9, 2020
Regarding the media restrictions: Players will be available in press-conference settings as well as outside the clubhouse, though during interviews they will be asked to abide by the CDC suggestion that they keep a 6-foot distance from reporters, sources told ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 9, 2020
The measures do not appear to stop there, though. Seattle has been a major hotbed for the virus, so much so that the Mariners might look to move their home games:
Mariners' March 26 opener appears in jeopardy. https://t.co/oVhpYybgz3— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) March 11, 2020
The Mariners have discussed playing home games in Arizona if COVID-19 leads to government restrictions on events in Seattle: https://t.co/uiPqvunF2O— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 11, 2020
All of baseball appears to be making contingency plans:
New: MLB would prefer to play games at alternate locations over empty ballparks and considers that the first contingency.— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) March 11, 2020
That could mean other MLB stadiums, spring training facilities or even completely neutral sites.
Could coronavirus impact baseball? It is hard to say for sure right now, but the idea cannot be ruled out. Baseball is probably pretty far down on everyone’s lists when it comes to concerns regarding this virus, but hey, this is a baseball blog! We care a little bit. Remember to please wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and if you feel sick to stay home. There was already enough incentive to try to stop the spread of the virus, and now for baseball fans, this might add just a tiny bit more.
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Elbow soreness keeps Goldschmidt out of lineup vs. #Mets, leads first baseman to have an MRI after the discomfort returns. @Ben_Fred and Rick Hummel have all the news on the 1B: https://t.co/P7CK34DBI3 #stlcards #cardinals #MLB— Derrick S. Goold (@dgoold) March 11, 2020
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