Major League Baseball, like many sports leagues around the world, has been shut down indefinitely because of the growing threat that is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Spring training has been suspended and Opening Day has been pushed back to at least mid-May, and that remains subject to change as the situation develops.
Whenever baseball does return, MLB and the MLBPA will have a ton of questions to answer and logistics to figure out. That is still true even after . Among the biggest questions remaining: what happens to the All-Star Game? The Midsummer Classic and surrounding festivities are scheduled for July 10-13 at Dodger Stadium.
On Friday, MLBPA executive director Tony Clark told reporters there has been no decision regarding the All-Star Game yet. MLB and the MLBPA need to know when the regular season can begin before figuring out whether they can hold an All-Star Game. From The Athletic's Evan Drellich:
"The players are open to having a discussion about just about everything. Obviously the calendar is going to dictate a lot of what can and cannot be done. But right now no door is closed," Clark said about the All-Star Game.
MLB and the MLBPA both want to play as many games as possible, which could mean canceling the All-Star Game and using the four-day All-Star break to make up regular season games. That would require the season beginning at some point before mid-July, of course, and the COVID-19 pandemic may not cooperate with that timetable.
At least one scribe (this one). In that scenario MLB would come out of the shutdown and start the regular season with the All-Star Game. It would be a grand event to welcome back baseball and most of the travel would cut into spring training rather than the regular season. It's worth considering.
The MLB All-Star Game has been canceled once before. The 1945 game, scheduled for July 10, was canceled on April 24 due to travel restrictions during World War II. The All-Star Game was first held in 1933 and has been played every year except 1945 since.