MLB is the latest American sports league to suspend its season due to the coronavirus. Opening Day will be pushed back, but not canceled.
MLB announced on Thursday that they have suspended baseball activities. Spring training is suspended, Opening Day has been pushed back, and the World Baseball Classic is suspended.
Statement from Major League Baseball: pic.twitter.com/0bWS5VTRPu
— MLB (@MLB) March 12, 2020
The big news here is that MLB has decided to push Opening Day back by at least two weeks. The fear of coronavirus has struck American sports.
The NBA, NHL, and MLS all suspended their seasons indefinitely. There are even some reports of the NBA and NHL seasons potentially stretching into August.
It’s surprising to see MLB take a different stance choosing to only push Opening Day back two weeks before re-evaluating. It’s clear they don’t want to push the season back too far. The most likely reason for their less severe response is the fear that the postseason will be pushed into colder weather.
If the MLB season is pushed back a full month that likely means World Series games will take place in November.
MLB already has issues with the weather due to rain and cold temperatures in October. The fear of playing in even colder weather and having snow ruin postseason games is very real.
A shortened season is a possible response to the coronavirus outbreak. They almost certainly want to avoid shortening the season, but it may be the only option to finish the season without having games bleed into late November.
The other option is playing postseason games in domed stadiums only. That would keep the field and stands warm while simultaneously preventing weather cancellations.
This can all be avoided if MLB is able to start the season with only a two-week delay, but that doesn’t seem likely at this point.