It seems like it was a month ago when Michael Kopech electrified White Sox fans by throwing a 1-2-3 inning with a fastball hitting 101 miles per hour in his first start of the spring.
That was Tuesday.
Two days later, Major League Baseball shut down spring training games and delayed the start of the regular season by at least two weeks as the world tries to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. By Friday evening, after an in-person meeting with the MLBPA, the league suspended spring training camps altogether and told players they were allowed to head home, if they'd like.
Earlier Friday, the White Sox were scrambling to come up with a plan, as all 30 Major League Baseball teams face the awkward task of staying ready for the regular season without spring training games.
"Traditionally, I think we've all viewed sports, and certainly from my perspective, baseball, as an important distraction from the real world for people," general manager Rick Hahn said. "Unfortunately, at this point, it's obvious that we're not immune from this ourselves, as an industry."
Hahn said the organization is "very supportive" of the drastic measures taken by the league. Friday morning, Hahn, executive vice president Kenny Williams and manager Rick Renteria met with the players in the team's major league camp.
"We had an open dialogue about what's best for all of us. What's best for our families," Hahn said. "Everyone agreed that being here as a resource for the players over the next couple of days makes the most sense and everyone is on board with doing that."
The plan was to keep their Camelback Ranch facility open to players and staff. Activities over the weekend were deemed "optional" for players and the White Sox had full participation Friday. At the time he spoke Friday morning in Arizona, Hahn said he'd understand if that changes and "remain flexible."
"We're all human beings that have families and understandable discomfort living in an uncertain world right now," Hahn said. "Unfortunately, this is one of the rare occurrences where it's larger than baseball."
The first priority, of course, is making sure everyone stays healthy. Hahn said no players or staff in either major or minor league camp are showing any symptoms of COVID-19.
"We're doing the best we can with the information that we have to educate our players and staff about prevention and good hygiene and awareness of the current situation," Hahn said. "And at the same time, at a more, I don't know, nuanced level, we're also continuing to prepare to the best of our ability for the start of the season, when that comes."
That's the tricky part. No one really knows when the regular season will begin and there are obvious logisitcal issues for players who don't own properties in the Phoenix area. Hotel rooms need to be paid for and leases extended, including Hahn's. That played a role in MLB and MLBPA agreeing to suspend spring training camps Friday.
In the meantime, the White Sox will hit the pause button. Instead of progressing towards opening day, Hahn said the focus will be on maintaining the players' current physical condition. The planned optional activities this weekend included batting cage work, pitchers throwing off the mound and potentially some light drills on the field. Before camps were suspended, Hahn said simulating games on the backfields was a possibility.
"Until there is more direction, we're going to stay on the current plan, which is to essentially push the pause button, but at the same time, continue to provide treatment and opportunities for our players to maintain where they are in their progression towards opening day," Hahn said.
That's easier said than done for starting pitchers, who go through more of a linear process of building up their arms during the spring.
"That's probably the trickiest part of all this," Hahn said.
For now, the White Sox will do their best to keep their starters where they are currently at in their spring progression, but that will be a challenge with some players headed home.
"Once we have a target in mind, we'll come up with a plan to build them from there," Hahn said.
Basically, as with almost everything in life right now, it's all fluid. The length of the hiatus will determine a lot. White Sox senior vice president of communications Scott Reifert said the hope is to still play 162 games this season, but he added: "Whether that ends up being the reality, we'll see down the road."
And the longer the break, the longer it will take to get the players — especially starting pitchers — ready to go for the regular season.
"If there's only a modest, couple-week delay, let's say, then certainly we've played a decent amount of (spring) games, we've got guys with their legs under them. We've got guys who have built to a certain level with a matter of sort of maintaining that and building off it," Hahn said. "It wouldn't be an extremely long period of (additional spring training) games at that point. Obviously if things change and for whatever reason people return home and we pick up again at a later date, it's really going to be a function of how long of that hiatus is."
Meanwhile, while it's certainly understandable for fans, players and everyone associated with baseball to be sad about the delay of opening day, Hahn is maintaining an impressive perspective as the most anticipated White Sox season in years gets put on hold.
"We know we'll get through this. We know that there's another side of this at some point. We know that we'll be playing baseball games again and we know it's going to be an exciting era for White Sox baseball in the not too distant future," Hahn said. "If it makes sense for the greater good of society at whole to delay that for a period of time, we understand that. We know where we fit in and we look forward to, when the time is right, bringing a great deal of happiness to people who will certainly be missing this game and in need of something to pick them up, in all probability."
Whenever that is, the White Sox will be ready.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.