Major League Baseball will initiate a major change in its standard operating practices in response to the spread of the coronavirus. Per Jeff Passan of ESPN.com (Twitter links), clubhouses will be closed to media.
Just how long this standard will apply remains to be seen, though there’s no indication it’s anything but a temporary measure. Presumably, it’ll depend upon the course of the worrisome disease. The move comes on the heels of similar actions from the NBA and NHL.
It’s something of a partial measure that relates only to the safety of team personnel. There’s no reason to believe that media interactions are any more dangerous than the many other person-to-person interactions that players engage in on a daily basis. The league also has plans to limit travel and clubhouse access for certain team employees.
There’s some evident incongruity in this action. It will not offer any protection to fans and will not help guard against the broader spread of the coronavirus through the staging of large-scale events. Passan says that the league will continue to hold Spring Training and (ultimately) regular-season games. Those plans remain subject to change, on both a universal and situational basis.