Major League Baseball has joined many other leagues and has. On Thursday, the league announced it canceled the final two weeks of spring training and pushed back the start of the regular season by at least two weeks. Opening Day was originally scheduled for March 26 and will not take place until April 9 at the earliest.
Here's what MLB wrote in its statement:
"Following a call with the 30 Clubs, and after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. today announced that MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans."
After the announcement, many players took to social media or spoke to reporters to comment on the announcement.
Giancarlo Stanton recognized that this situation is bigger than baseball.
Giancarlo Stanton a few minutes ago on the cancellation of ST: "It’s unfortunate but I think it’s the proper measure we need to take now given the situation the country’s in and the world’s in. It’s important to know that some things are bigger than baseball, bigger than sports."— Erik Boland (@eboland11) March 12, 2020
Andrew Miller had a similar message.
Andrew Miller: “Sports are important to us, but there’s bigger things in life.” Some players said they didn’t know when they should return to the spring training complex, if at all. MLB said guidance relating to daily operations & workouts will be relayed in “the coming days.”— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) March 12, 2020
Francisco Lindor wanted to remind people to be kind to each other.
Rhys Hoskins said,"I think we'll remember for the rest of our lives."
Rhys Hoskins: “Look, this is something that I think we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. It’s something that is kind of stopping the world as we know it.”— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) March 12, 2020
Max Scherzer noted Thursday morning that he thinks it's "naive to think that there's not one player in any one of the camps across MLB right now that has not contracted it yet."
Max Scherzer when asked about athletes in other sports contracting coronavirus: " I think we’d be kind of naive to think that there’s not one player in any one of the camps across MLB right now that has not contracted it yet."— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) March 12, 2020
Playing on Thursday -- which a handful of teams did in Grapefruit League action before the league's decision -- felt weird for many.
Mike Piazza called it a "prudent decision" by Major League Baseball.
The Boston Red Sox and New York Mets are two of the many teams who have tweeted a response to the pandemic.
The four major American professional sports leagues (MLB, MLS, the NBA and NHL) have suspended their seasons. You can follow along with live updates about how coronavirus is impacting the sports world here.