The Baltimore Orioles and the rest of the MLB players await any decision from the MLBPA and the owners about the future of the 2020 season.
But, as they wait, the Baltimore Orioles and the rest of the teams are expecting to have a short version of spring training not in Florida or Arizona, but in their home MLB stadiums.
This possible decision comes as no surprise as several MLB players and staffers tested positive for COVID-19 in spring training facilities over the weekend. The first announcement came on June 15, as the Blue Jays and Phillies decided to close their spring training facilities on the west side of Florida after a few players tested positive.
But, as of today, the announcement grew. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the number is at 40:
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 21, 2020
Fortunately for the Orioles, the organization did not reopen its spring training facilities in Sarasota after the original MLB shutdown in mid-March. But, Nightengale also Tweeted that all teams are moving to their home fields. The only unknown at this point are the Blue Jays, who may have to get special permission to cross the border into Canada, as it is only open for essential crossings. (Unfortunately, baseball is not considered essential).
Every #MLB club has now decided to have their spring-training camp in their own home cities with the recent surge of COVID-19 in Arizona and Florida.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 20, 2020
The MLB isn’t the only organization with players contracting the virus. Many training camps have been in the states are considered hotspots for COVID-19. In the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lighting had to close their facility after players and staffers tested positive. Tampa isn’t too far from the Blue Jays and Phillies camps in Dunedin and Clearwater.
Also in Tampa, a Buccaneer’s assistant coach tested positive for the virus. And, the NFLPA advised their players stop practicing together for fear of more spread. Their medical director’s letter to the players was posted on CBS Sports.
At this point, there haven’t been any reports of Orioles contracting the virus. With the Sarasota facilities never reopening, players have been on their own for workouts. That looks like a smart move by the executives in Birdland.