The Effect of COVID-19 on the MLB

COVID-19, (Coronavirus), has taken the world by storm, killing thousands and infecting even more, forcing people to self-quarantine and stay indoors. With the quarantine comes lots of cancellations and in some cases events being postponed. Schools around the world have shifted to online schooling, restaurants only allow delivery/pick up, and finally, sporting events have been postponed and in some cases canceled.

This includes MLB. On March 12, spring training was canceled and so far, Opening Day has been pushed back to at least mid-May. So far the MLB and the MLBPA have discussed multiple scenarios to bring back baseball. This includes playing many doubleheaders and extending the regular season into October. Also, the MLB considered playing in empty stadiums, specifically in spring training stadiums while quarantining all players, but this would be complex and very controversial.

This would put a lot of responsibility on the league. The health and safety of players, coaches, umps, those producing television broadcasts, hotel staff, bus drivers and anyone else who would come into contact with the players and games would be a priority and they all would be put as a risk. Most recently, the MLB discusses rearranging the divisions during a shortened season.

The American League and National League would also be replaced with the Cactus League and Grapefruit League. Teams would be placed depending on the location of their spring training facilities. After a 108 game season, the winner of both leagues would face off in the World Series in November. Although, nothing is set in stone yet. There are still many concerns and the government is still trying to flatten the curve. But it is very promising that the MLB is trying to find a way to bring back baseball.