After the US Federal Government put out a nationwide recommendation to restrict events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks in the midst of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Monday that baseball’s Opening Day will be pushed back until “mid-May at the earliest.”

MLB cancelled the remainder of spring training on Thursday, and previously stated that Opening Day, which was originally scheduled for March 26, would be pushed back at least two weeks. Teams and players have stated that they will need an additional two to four weeks of spring training before the regular season begins.

The MLB and the MLB Player’s Association are negotiating resetting the dates for players’ opt-out clauses, and the two sides are likely to agree on a roster freeze that will see no teams be able to move anyone on their current roster.

This year’s March 26 Opening Day would have marked the earliest Opening Day in MLB history. With the way the schedule lined up, Game 7 of the World Series would have been October 28.

Any changes to the current 162-game schedule greatly affects when and how much players get paid. The last time the MLB had a mass postponement of openers was in 1995, when the season was shortened to 144 games following a 7-and-a-half month players’ strike that completely cancelled the 1994 World Series. Opening Day was pushed back 24 days and players’ salaries were reduced by 11.1% due to the lost games.

It is not looking promising for sports to be starting up again anytime soon.

Featured photo courtesy of Steve Mitchell / USA Today Sports

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