PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Phillies’ season has been put on pause before it even started. MLB on Thursday announced it’s canceling the rest of spring training and delaying the start of the regular season by at least two weeks.
The World Baseball Classic qualifier games have also been postponed indefinitely due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The cancellation goes into effect at 4 p.m. Thursday.
“MLB and the Clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hopes of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.”
2020 Opening Day to be delayed by at least two weeks; Spring Training Games cancelled beginning today; and @WBCBaseball Qualifier games postponed indefinitely due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. pic.twitter.com/yCgUHkdfpF
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) March 12, 2020
MLB joins the NBA and NHL putting their seasons on hold.
The NBA suspended its season on Wednesday night after Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gobert rested presumptive positive for coronavirus.
The NHL on Thursday announced its season has been put on pause due to coronavirus concerns.
The Phillies played the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday afternoon. They had 12 spring-training games left on their schedule.
The Phils’ regular season was scheduled to begin on March 27 — six regular-season games are affected by the delayed start.