MLB delays opening day by at least two weeks because of coronavirus

AP photo by Elise Amendola / Fans look through a fence at Hammond Stadium after a spring training exhibition game between the Minnesota Twins and the Baltimore Orioles was canceled on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla. Major League Baseball suspended the rest of its spring training game schedule because of the coronavirus outbreak. MLB is also delaying the start of its regular season by at least two weeks.

NEW YORK - Major League Baseball is delaying the start of its season by at least two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak and has suspended the rest of its spring training game schedule.

Opening day had been scheduled for March 26.

MLB had continued to play into Thursday, and the announcement came while some exhibitions were still going on. But baseball changed course after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he strongly recommended to local authorities and organizers that they limit all mass gatherings.

"MLB and the clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule," the commissioner's office said in a release. "MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible."

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