CLEVELAND (WJW)–Play Ball, part 2. Spring Training 2.0 kicked off Wednesday across Major League Baseball, which includes in Cleveland where the Indians players reported to Progressive Field. The first on-field workouts are scheduled for Friday.
Things will be a little different as players report to camp than they were in February. First, every player and coach will be tested for COVID-19 every other day from the start of Spring Training through the postseason. Temperature and symptom checks will happen twice a day.
Major League Baseball will play a 60-game season starting on July 23rd or 24th. The Indians will play 40 of their games against divisional opponents and 20 games against opponents from the National League Central Division and a traditional and expanded postseason will take place beginning on September 29th. There will be no fans allowed in attendance, at least to start the season.
There will be two rule changes coming this year as part of the shortened season, the National League will have a designated hitter and if a game goes to extra innings, every half-inning will begin with a runner on second base.
Here are a few other rules MLB will follow during the Coronavirus-shortened season:
- Players and staffers not participating in the game will be sitting in the stands, at least six feet apart.
- Masks must be worn by non-playing personnel in the dugouts and bullpen.
- There won’t be a pregame exchange of lineup cards.
- No celebratory contact, including high fives, fist bumps, and hugs.
- While chewing gum is permitted, the chewing and spitting of tobacco and sunflower seeds won’t be allowed.
- No fights.
- Any ball touched by multiple players will be replaced.
The boys are back in town, baseball is back, but it won’t be the same summer at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario Streets.
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