Minor League Baseball is following the same path as Major League Baseball (MLB) when it comes to its plan for coronavirus. The league announced it will delay the start of its season due to the pandemic. This came right on the heels of the MLB suspending spring training games and delaying the regular season for at least two weeks.
"In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, and after consultation with medical professionals and our partners at Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball will delay the start of the 2020 Championship Season, the league said in a statement. "We will continue to monitor the developments and will announce additional information about the 2020 season at a later date. We will work with Major League Baseball and our community partners to resume play as soon as it is safe to do so. The health and safety of Minor League Baseball fans, players and executives is our top priority, and our thoughts are with those around the world who have been affected by this outbreak."
Minor League teams from Triple-A, Double-A and Class A levels were set to start playing during the first week in April. The MLB was scheduled to start the last week in March.
"Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans," the league said in its announcement per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. "MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus."
When players heard the news, they were disappointed about the season being delayed, but they knew it was the right decision.
"It's unfortunate, but I think it's the proper measure we need to take now given the situation the country's in and the world's in," New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton told reporters at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. "It's important to know that some things are bigger than baseball, bigger than sports. Once we're able to hopefully get a hold on some things and get some questions answered, we can figure out when things can continue."
"This is an unprecedented time and this is certainly an unprecedented decision that was made in the best interest of players, fans and communities across the country," Florida Marlins CEO Derek Jeter said in a statement.