One of the novelties of Major League Baseball's pre-pandemic schedule might still take place despite the spread of the novel coronavirus. The league is proceeding with the thought that an Aug. 13 game can still be hosted at a ballpark constructed at the "Field of Dreams" set in Dyersville, Iowa. The game was originally scheduled to be a matchup between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox.
"To date there has been no change in the status of the event, and we hope to have the option to play," the league said in a statement to MLB Network's Jon Morosi. "Construction is continuing and we are following all CDC and state protocols regarding recommended safety practices, including social distancing, washing hands, and temperature checks before arriving to the site. Safeguarding public health is our top priority. We are monitoring ongoing events and plan to remain as flexible as these circumstances demand."
A Yankees-White Sox series would go against the spirit of MLB's remade schedule, which limits teams to playing their divisional rivals and geographical counterparts. As a result, the St. Louis Cardinals are under consideration to replace the Yankees, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. An official announcement has not yet been made.
While the wisdom of hosting a novelty game (or any game) during a pandemic can be questioned, it's unclear if the season will reach that point.
MLB will try to launch its regular season on July 23, nearly three months after the original Opening Day date. Players are expected to report for a second training camp on Wednesday, with teams then allowed to partake in as many intrasquad games as they would like. MLB is also expected to allow teams to play three exhibition games with other teams.
It's anyone's guess as to whether the league's COVID-19 situation will allow it to play on from there, and all the way through until mid-August. The league has not yet released the full schedule for the 60-game season.
Dyersville is split between Delaware and Dubuque counties. According to government data, more than 500 individuals have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Dubuque county, including 22 deaths.