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Players are being encouraged to leave spring training camps and go home

Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 13: A general view of Steinbrenner Field on March 13, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. Major League Baseball is suspending Spring Training and delaying the start of the regular season by at least two weeks due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

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This morning various team officials around baseball said that the plan was to keep spring training facilities open and for players to continue to come in, work out and train, at least at some level. After a day of meetings between the league and union officials that has changed. Players are now going home. Or at least they are being encouraged to. That recommendation comes after a day of meetings between MLB and the MLBPA about how to proceed.

Leaving camp is not mandatory. Many minor league players and players from outside of the United States have been hoping to remain in camps, where they have access to housing, food and training facilities. Players with families in the United States have been saying they want to go home and be with their families. Major League Baseball has, meanwhile, recommended that scouts cancel non-essential travel.

Underlying all of this, obviously, is the uncertain amount of time until play actually resumes. People inside the game are now saying that it’ll be no sooner than May If players are dispersing, that would seem to be the earliest one can imagine everyone getting back together and back up to speed.

Indeed, it seems likely that, before the season can begin, a second spring training will have to take place. Such mini-camps were held in the past after the resolution of work stoppages, usually lasting a week or two.

As has been the case with everything else this week, it’s all subject to change. The constant comment coming from baseball people today has been, “there is no template for this,” or “there is no playbook for this.” That’s definitely for sure.

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