Major League Baseball Suspends Spring Training, Delays Opening of New Season Over Coronavirus

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Baseball bat - Sputnik International
Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. announced Thursday that Spring Training for the league would be suspended, and that opening day would be pushed back by two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The release further notes that "as of 4:00 p.m. (ET) today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Arizona, have been postponed indefinitely."

​"This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans," reads a statement issued by the league. "MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season."

The league's ruling follows similar moves by the National Hockey League, National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer, among other organizations.

Announcements by several sports association followed news late Wednesday that the basketball association would be halting its season after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. It was later revealed that fellow Jazz player Donovan Mitchell also tested positive.

At present, there have been more than 1,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US, with at least 38 documented deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

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