MLB Still Plans to Open Season on Time, But Will Adjust If Coronavirus Spreads, And Will Also Limit Media

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MLB Still Plans to Open Season on Time, But Will Adjust If Coronavirus Spreads, And Will Also Limit Media

Chicago Cubs

Only a little bit ago, I wrote about the NBA’s ongoing response to the increasing spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and wondered to what extent we were going to see MLB begin its own responses (indeed, it could be that MLB would start responding to the NBA’s and NHL’s responses).

Unfortunately, it is indeed coming.

MLB held a conference call today to discuss the ongoing issues, and they apparently came to some near-term conclusions, and it’s kinda gonna suck for the working media (and, by extension, could suck for the fans):

Should significant pockets of the disease appear in various locations around Major League cities, it’s pretty hard to imagine the local health authorities not suggesting some kind of alternative arrangement (postponing, moving locations, or playing without fans). Hopefully, hopefully that doesn’t happen.

As for the media restrictions, man, I sure don’t love it. Yes, the media folks travel a lot and come into contact with a lot of people, but in a world where teams are always looking for more and more ways to diminish access, you wonder to what extent this will truly be a limited-time arrangement, or whether this is a bit of an opportunity for the league. Player safety is important. No question. I’m not sure there weren’t other ways to handle this, though.

To be sure, it doesn’t impact me, personally – no clubhouse access for BN has ever been on the table anyway – it does have the potential to impact the kinds of interviews that frequently offer the most interesting and revealing information. That could hurt the fans at a time when getting that extra engagement with players (just look at the mic’d up stuff) seems so important. Hopefully the league is seriously considering how to make sure there isn’t an issue, despite the media restrictions, and hopefully this really is a short-term thing.

And also, hopefully the questions about playing games in empty stadiums never comes to fruition.

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.