With Major League Baseball suspending operation indefinitely, the Minnesota Twins and their fans are left wondering what comes next.
Major League Baseball announced earlier today that the league would be suspending operation indefinitely due to concerns over the spread of Novel Coronavirus, or covid-19, canceling the rest of Spring Training, Jeff Passan of ESPN reports. The Minnesota Twins will wrap exhibition games at 7-8 following a four game losing streak.
This decision comes after the National Basketball Association (NBA) suspended operation for the rest of the season, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) canceled conference tournaments (and announced the championship tournament would be held without fans), and National Football League (NFL) teams announced their staff would avoid travel for the near future.
The situation has changed very rapidly, as the MLB had originally considered just moving games out of cities with coronavirus outbreaks on the west coast, cities such as Oakland, San Fransisco, and Los Angeles where meetings of more than 250 people were banned. The Seattle Mariners officially had their games moved, per USA Today.
The Minnesota Twins were scheduled to play the Oakland Athletics in Oakland and the Mariners in Seattle over their first two series of the season and were preparing to play elsewhere, but it now looks like those games may be moved back as well, per Sports Illustrated.
The largest question remaining is how long it will be before the season resumes. It takes a lot of preparation to get ready for the MLB season, and with a chunk of Spring Training being canceled, players now have to prepare differently:
So once Spring Training is inevitably cancelled, you’d have to imagine a shift in the season start.
Starting pitchers have ramped up to something near 70 pitches, but throwing programs now all get altered.
— Ted (@tlschwerz) March 12, 2020
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The Twins now have to explore other options to get their players ready, and will have to do it mainly in Florida, with travel not advised across the country. This suspension seems like it would grant more time to get ready for the regular season, but this means there are more problems to face.
The players will continue to practice for when the season does begin, and the team will work to fix those problems as they arise. On the flip side, this situation is new and complex for everyone involved, and there will be new problems often.
The Twins as a team had and still have several questions left to answer before the regular season got underway: Who would be the fifth starter in the rotation? When will Byron Buxton be ready to play? Who will make the major league bullpen? Until the league resumes, the answers for those questions will have to wait.
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