The news came abruptly on Thursday that Major League Baseball had suspended spring training and would push back Opening Day at least two weeks. On Friday, the sorting out process began and it is worth remembering that this is clearly a fluid situation.
Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos held a conference call with reporters Friday morning and indicated that he had addressed the team earlier at their North Port complex not about baseball, but about life in general. Anthopoulos said that the team and the league is still working out the details and that things are changing on an hour by hour basis.
“We’re in the process of working all of that out,” Anthopoulos said. “I still have a lot things to be answered right now. Things are changing hour by hour. We’ve dealt with players on an individual basis. But for the most part, our players are staying here. If somebody had extenuating circumstances, obviously they can get back.”
Anthopoulos originally stated that he thought for the most part that players would be staying at North Port. However, news came later in the day that Major League Baseball had suspended Spring Training camps immediately. Braves players would be allowed to return home or remain in North Port or travel back to Atlanta. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported Friday evening that several Braves players have already left.
Some Braves players have already left North Port. Those heading to Atlanta have a reasonable drive (approx. 7.5 hours) and the potential (yeah, I know about the rain) to work out together there, much like they did during the offseason.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) March 13, 2020
Obviously this will remain a fluid situation for the near future but hopefully the league will gain some clarity in the coming weeks on when they might be able to resume activity.
Hopefully more teams will follow suit but the Detroit Tigers are setting a good example as ownership has agreed to pay spring staff their lost wages due to the cancelation of the remaining spring schedule.