MLB to delay start of 2020 season by at least two weeks

Coronavirus

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball will delay 2020 Opening Day by at least two weeks, they said on Thursday.

Spring training games are canceled as of 4 p.m. Thursday.

The MLB said it will continue to evaluate ongoing events and scheduling.

“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans.  MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts.  We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus,” MLB wrote.

MLB has not had a mass postponement of openers since 1995, when the season was shortened from 162 games to 144 following a 7 1/2-month strike that also wiped out the 1994 World Series. Opening day was pushed back from April 2 to April 26.

Player salaries were reduced by 11.1% in 1995 because the games were lost due to a strike.

If regular-season games are lost this year, MLB could attempt to reduce salaries by citing paragraph 11 of the Uniform Player’s Contract, which covers national emergencies.

“This contract is subject to federal or state legislation, regulations, executive or other official orders or other governmental action, now or hereafter in effect respecting military, naval, air or other governmental service, which may directly or indirectly affect the player, club or the league,” it says.

The provision also states the agreement is “subject also to the right of the commissioner to suspend the operation of this contract during any national emergency during which Major League Baseball is not played.”

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