Arizona Cactus League asks MLB to delay start of Spring Training

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Cactus League asks MLB to delay start of Spring Training originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Spring Training may not start on time after all.

The Cactus League told Major League Baseball that it wants to delay the start of Spring Training due to safety concerns relate to the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Brahm Resnik, an anchor and reporter at 12 News in Arizona.

On Monday, Resnik posted a copy of a letter to Rob Manfred, signed by local and Cactus League officials, which laid out their concerns. And while the Cactus League itself cannot push back the Spring Training start date, it could have an influence on the MLB and players association’s decision.

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In the past week, Arizona has reported 95.1 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, the highest of any U.S. State.  

“We are grateful to MLB for its partnership and unified in our commitment to provide a safe, secure environment; to that end, the task force has worked to ensure that ballparks are able to meet COVID-19 protocols such as pod seating, social distancing and contactless transactions,” the letter reads. “But in view of the current state of the pandemic in Maricopa County – with one of the nation’s highest infection rates – we believe it is wise to delay the start of spring training to allow for the COVID-19 situation to improve here.”

Cactus League Spring Training games were originally scheduled to start Feb. 27. The Cubs and White Sox had not yet announced reporting dates for their players.

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