UPDATE, MONDAY, 6:31 AM: Japanese officials postponed the start of the 12-team NPB league season this morning because of the spread of the coronavirus.
SUNDAY: Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich report in The Athletic that commissioner Rob Manfred will be having a conference call tomorrow with all team owners about the COVID-19 outbreak. Rosenthal and Drellich report that the league expects the season to proceed as planned.
The conference call is the first time all of the owners and Manfred have spoken together about COVID-19 and their plans for the potential impact of the disease on business. The NBA has advised its teams that they should be prepared to play games without fans in attendance. Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan’s top baseball league, has been playing its spring training games to empty stands.
Each MLB team is developing its own contingency plans, and the league itself is coordinating with the CDC.
As we wrote yesterday, teams are already limiting the access fans have to players by changing their autograph policies. With the outbreak only expected to grow in size, one can imagine that further steps may be taken within the baseball world to maintain security.
If you want to learn more about COVID-19, give the CDC’s site about the virus a read. Informing yourself is the most important first step.