Major League Baseball announced on Monday that its regular season will be pushed back at least another eight weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, meaning Opening Day might not come until June at the earliest.
“Following last night’s newly updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, the opening of the 2020 regular season will be pushed back in accordance with that guidance,” the league released in a statement. “MLB will keep fans updated on decisions regarding plans for the 2020 schedule in the days and weeks ahead. The Clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins.”
On Thursday, MLB decided to cancel spring training and push back the start of the regular season by at least two weeks — around April 8 — after the coronavirus pandemic swept through the United States.
While reported cases rose, MLB joined the NBA, NHL, and MLS in postponing their seasons while the NCAA canceled its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
Pushing back the start of the season to June could see the league lose out on the first 50-to-70 games of the season. That would mean 2020 would feature the fewest games in a major-league season since the 1981 lockout year that saw 713 total games lost.
That year, teams played between 103-111 games in which the season was halved. The first-place teams in each half made the playoffs.