Major League Baseball decided Monday to close clubhouses to media members for an undisclosed period of time because of the coronavirus outbreak. Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball took the more drastic measure to postpone the start of its regular season.
The Korea Baseball Organization is now following the NPB’s lead, Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.Net reports (Twitter links). The league, which had already canceled preseason games, will hold off the beginning of its regular campaign until an April date that hasn’t been determined. It had been scheduled to kick off March 28. The KBO’s hope remains that it will play its typical 144-game season, Kurtz adds. Regardless, the league will notify its teams two weeks before it plans to start its regular season.
Unlike the Japanese and Korean leagues, MLB has no plans right now to make any changes to its spring or regular schedules, per the Associated Press. The league admitted, however, that it “recognizes the fluidity of this rapidly evolving situation.”
“The health and safety of everyone in our communities is of the utmost importance to us,” MLB continued. “We have been engaging on an ongoing basis with a wide range of public health experts, infectious disease specialists, and governmental agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to obtain the latest information.”
Commissioner Rob Manfred held a conference call Monday with MLB’s 30 teams to discuss the situation, according to the AP.