This is the latest installment of a daily series in which the FanGraphs staff rounds up the latest developments regarding the COVID-19 virus’ effect on baseball.
On what was supposed to the Opening Day of the Major League Baseball regular season, fields will remain empty across the United States in an effort to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Death totals continued to climb worldwide Wednesday, with CNN reporting over 21,000 global fatalities from the virus as that number passed 1,000 for the first time in the United States. Exact numbers remain elusive as testing continues to expand. Last night, the U.S. Senate approved a $2.2 trillion stimulus package in response to the economic fallout.
The deepest cultural impact of the virus in the baseball world will be felt by players and fans today, when the 2020 season was supposed to have gotten underway. Questions remain on how a potential season could look and few exact answers are available.
ESPN Asked Rob Manfred: When Does He See Baseball Returning?
Rob Manfred, asked on ESPN what he _hopes_ could happen from here: “My optimistic outlook is that at some point in May we’ll be gearing back up. We’ll have to make a determination depending on what the precise date is as to how much of a preparation period we need."
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 26, 2020
While no one will guarantee an official end date for the countermeasures to the coronavirus (quite reasonably!), the commissioner took his best shot while talking with ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt late Wednesday night, saying his most “optimistic outlook” was that the sport could be back by May, though a 162-game season is likely out of the question. Manfred stated that “nothing’s off the table” as far as a solution, indicating that he will get to do his favorite thing in the days to come: tinker with the sport in order to determine a solution. Read the rest of this entry »