MLB sent a memo to all 30 teams in which the league said that teams should “avoid all actives in which players congregate in significant numbers.” The memo advocated that players, coaches and staffers engage in the social distancing practices advocated by the CDC. Evan Drellich has the memo here:
The full memo Major League Baseball has sent to teams about spring training: pic.twitter.com/LihlK1F2C6
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) March 15, 2020
There’s a lot to unpack here. Non-roster players are being sent home unless travel is too great a risk or they live in a COVID-19 hotspot, or they are receiving medial treatment from the team. The memo also states that players on the 40-man roster must be allowed to stay at the facility if they choose to do so, and that they be given continued spring training allowances.
Yet the most telling nugget may be that the league anticipates that those players will decide to go home as the pandemic unfolds and they are given more information about the dangers of the disease. Indeed, the memo states in the opening paragraphs that future restrictions imposed by the government will likely further impede the sport’s ability to operate.
The moratorium on group activities extends to the teams’ facilities in the Dominican Republic, and some of the athletes at those facilities will be sent home.
Commissioner Rob Manfred will be hosting a conference call at 12:00 ET on Monday to discuss the new further discuss the ongoing crisis. Given the speed at which the pandemic is unfolding, there will likely be new matters to consider by that time.
The end to group activities comes as some players elect to stay in camp and work out, including the entirety of the Yankees’ roster. The instructions also come the same afternoon as the news that a minor leaguer in Yankees camp has tested positive for COVID-19.
If you want to learn more about COVID-19, give the CDC’s site about the virus a read. Informing yourself is the most important step.