Major League Baseball has cancelled games in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues, suspended the start of the 2020 regular season, and now ordered all teams to shut down organized spring training activities.

This is all in response to the ongoing COVID19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic situation.

The following is latest information:

Earlier today, Commissioner Rob Manfred conducted a conference call with representatives of all 30 MLB teams. The result of that call was that the 2020 season will be pushed back indefinitely, with the following as part of the official statement:

“MLB will keep fans updated on decisions regarding plans for the 2020 schedule in the days and weeks ahead. The Clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins. We will continue to monitor ongoing events and undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts, and urge all baseball fans to follow suit.”

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have made a combined charitable donation of $1 million dollars to help ease hunger issues relating to the COVID19 pandemic. A half-million each is going to Feeding America (FeedingAmerica.org) and Meals on Wheels America (MealsonWheelsAmerica.org).

Players are eager to do their part both individually and collectively to ease the significant burdens placed on the most vulnerable people in our communities,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said per MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince. “This contribution represents one of those efforts.

Per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, an unnamed player in the New York Yankees minor league system has become the first known American professional baseball player to test positive for the coronavirus. That player never entered Steinbrenner Field and there is no known link to any of the club’s Major League players according to Yankees director of media relations Jason Zillo.

Scott Lauber of the Inquirer provided the following Phillies-related information on Monday:

“The Phillies closed their offices on Monday morning at Citizens Bank Park, and their employees worked remotely. The team provided email addresses for fans to contact if they had questions about season tickets (seasonmvp@phillies.com), group tickets (grouptickets@phillies.com), or single-game/spring training tickets (tickets@phillies.com).”

Famed documentarian Ken Burns has made his outstanding series on the game available free via streaming.

Based on all currently available information the Major League Baseball season is not likely to begin any earlier than late May. The CDC has recommended all events with 50 or more people be canceled for the next 60 days, so roughly mid-May.

There are no guarantees, of course, that the situation will be mitigated at that point. So, it is entirely possible that even that date could be adjusted and pushed back. There is thus not even a tentative startup date for baseball.

Please visit the following vital sites for ongoing updates regarding the COVID19 / coronavirus pandemic:

Philadelphia Department of Health

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

WHO (World Health Organization)

The Bell will keep ringing for Phillies and baseball fans all during this temporary crisis. Visit our website at philliesbell.com to enjoy our continuing Phillies coverage. Stay with our social media feeds at Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at the @philliesbell feed as well.

THE BELL – COVID 19 COVERAGE

3.13.20 – Phillies Charities annual 5K postponed

3.13.20 – MLB clubs begin handling spring training ticket refund/exchange issues

3.13.20 – Bell to keep ringing through COVID19 pandemic

3.12.20 – Coronavirus hits Major League Baseball

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