MLB Will Suspend Operations, Putting Most Pro Sports On Pause In North America Amid Coronavirus Fears

MLB became the final active pro sports league to suspend its season on Thursday when reports surfaced that the league will suspend its operations amid coronavirus fears. With spring training underway in Florida and Arizona, baseball officials decided Thursday to follow other leagues such as the NBA, NHL, MLS and NLL in ending their seasons.

Jeff Passan reported on ESPN that the league was expected to end operations following a handful of spring training games underway in Florida.

While some players had publicly expressed ambivalence about the growing coronavirus pandemic, MLB took action on Thursday.

The league made it official on Thursday afternoon: spring training would be delayed two weeks.

The move comes after two NBA players — Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz — tested positive for COVID-19 and turned a public safety debate over social distancing and the potential of sports leagues holding games without fans into an emergency that required the abrupt halt of leagues altogether. The NHL followed suit a day later, as many teams share venues in cities throughout the country.

The decision effectively puts pro sports on pause in North America, though NASCAR and pro golf are currently slated to continue, though both will apparently continue without fans in attendance. It’s unclear what the consequences of the suspension will be for the league and its season, as the regular season is weeks away. But as cities around the country cancel events weeks in the future amid concerns that the impact of the virus will continue to spread, it’s clear that baseball made the right move and put its own season on ice before the thaw of spring.