MLB Opening Day on April 9 a pipe dream

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 05: The Tampa Bay Rays warms up prior to the start of a Major League Baseball game against the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day at Oracle Park on April 5, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 05: The Tampa Bay Rays warms up prior to the start of a Major League Baseball game against the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day at Oracle Park on April 5, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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The idea that MLB Opening Day will take place on April 9 may be a pipe dream as the league has requested that players leave their team’s facilities and head home.

The coronavirus has affected every aspect of life, and sports are no exception. The Major League Baseball season had already been delayed, as the remainder of Spring Training was canceled and MLB Opening Day was pushed back two weeks. The hope was that everything would be contained in short order, and there could be a return to normalcy.

Right now, that April 9 starting date could be nothing more than a pipe dream. The league is advising players to leave their team’s facilities and head home, as any formal workouts have been canceled.

At this time, the preferred option is for players to return to their homes and remain in seclusion, although players from foreign countries are being discouraged from traveling. Depending on the country and travel restrictions, that option may not be there.

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As such, MLB has made certain that there are other options. Players can remain at the team facilities and receive their living allowances. For those who want to leave, but are unable to return to their home country, they are being permitted to travel to their team’s home city.

That third option has the potential to be disastrous. Seattle is one of the centers of the coronavirus, meaning that Mariners players would not have that option. The same would likely be the case for A’s and Giants players as well.

Then there is the workout aspect. As players are leaving, and formal workouts and training are no longer happening, teams will need to start all over again. Those players, when allowed back at their facilities, will need to get back into game shape. Depending on how long it takes before the league allows players to return to team facilities, they may need to start spring training all over again.

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The idea of having Opening Day on April 9 seemed like a pipe dream. With their actions today, MLB just confirmed that to be the case.