Earlier today Washington governor Jay Inslee issued an order restricting gatherings of more than 250 people in three counties, including King County, where the Seattle Mariners play. That will effectively cancel at least the Mariners first seven games of the season at home, and likely moving them to Arizona, the visiting team’s park or another neutral location. At least if Major League Baseball has a say in the manner.
It may not have a say, because more state and local governments are likely to pass similar bans in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Such as San Francisco, which just did this:
San Francisco is banning gatherings of more than 1,000 people, including Warriors games.
— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) March 11, 2020
This morning we announced that the Health Officer of San Francisco is issuing an order prohibiting all large group events of 1,000 or more persons, effective immediately.
This is necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, and builds on our previous public health recommendations.
— London Breed (@LondonBreed) March 11, 2020
If that ban lasts for any significant length of time it will impact the Giants, who play an exhibition game at Oracle Field against the Athletics on March 24 and then open their home schedule on April 3 against the Dodgers. They play their first six regular season games on the road in Los Angeles and Arizona.
Major League Baseball has said nothing about any of this in the past two days. In their silence, it would seem that government officials are going to make the decisions for them.
UPDATE: The Giants have canceled their March 24 exhibition game with the Oakland Athletics in San Francisco:
#sfgiants officially cancel 3/24 Bay Bridge exhibition.
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) March 11, 2020