blogging Phillies baseball and the home of Phillies Talk Podcast by Rich Baxter
blogging Phillies baseball and the home of Phillies Talk Podcast by Rich Baxter

Players clinging to what they know at Spring Training venues despite Covid-19 fallout

A few weeks ago, it was business as usual for the 30 MLB teams at their Spring Training homes, practices, and games were being held in Florida and Arizona in preparation for the season which was due to start in only 3 days from now.

Of course just in the last 14 days, things have changed very drastically in everyone’s lives, and then as major sports leagues began shutting down in the wake of the Covid-19 virus spread, Major League Baseball also closed down the tremendously gigantic business of the game to the fans. The WHO declared the Covid-19 virus was indeed at pandemic levels and safeguards started putting MLB at a distance from the virus began to take shape.

Initially, the MLB teams could stay and train in their Spring Training home parks as a team, then a couple days later the MLB backpedaled and said they would recommend that players return back to their home town team city or basically home, but in limited amounts could remain training in very small groups in the Spring Training facilities.

The Tampa located Steinbrenner Field – still a place where Yankees choose to workout

With 3 days to go with the start of the 2020 MLB season now just a mirage, players in certain clubs are still at their Spring Training facilities trying to maintain their professional training schedules and at a place where they feel most at home at. Reports from the NY Yankee complex in Tampa, where the state and local government is about to order ‘stay at home’ orders as has been done in major metro areas and states in the Northeast and West coast, is starting to push out the final players that haven’t yet decided to just go back home.

“They kind of told us we can do whatever, but I got a place here so I might as well stay here and work with the guys we have as long as they don’t shut us down. That is the biggest concern,” Judge said Friday. “The great thing is they have this open so we can come here and do some baseball activity and stay ready.”

From NY Post article on March 22, 2020 quote from Aaron Judge, Yankees star

In Arizona, it’s the Cubs who are still showing up in Mesa, in greatly reduced numbers, but still want to train there, among them, Anthony Rizzo, who plays first base for the Cubs:

Embed from Getty Images

“I think it’s best to stay here,” Rizzo said. “This is a controlled facility, and it’s better for me than working out at a regular gym. And we’ve got cages here.”

“If I wasn’t 5½ hours away on a flight [to Florida], I would probably be home. But just going home for a few weeks and then coming back — I’d rather just stay here and be grounded here.”

Anthony Rizzo in an article in today’s Chicago Sun-Times

While there may be promising signs of treatments being touted, this is still very much a dangerous disease, a virus that hasn’t been battled before, it viciously attacks it’s victims and seems to affect those who get it in different capacities. As the days go on, we’ll continue to see how the virus affects not only the baseball economy but the overall US economy which wasn’t ready for anything close to this magnitude, it’s almost like a World War has broken out in this country with the battle being against a virus, stay well FightinPhillies.com readers, send in some comments if you’d like for future articles to rich @ fightinphillies.com

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