Several baseball teams in major leagues could see their training camp postponed for a few weeks due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in Arizona.
In a statement sent to Major League Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday, representatives of the authorities in the Cactus League and Arizona offer to postpone the start of activities for the 15 affected teams by almost a month.
“Due to the current state of the Maricopa County pandemic – which has one of the highest rates of infection in the country – we think it would be wise to postpone the holding of the camps. Training to improve the situation, we can read. We take this position based on data from the University of Washington’s Institute for Public Health Statistics, which predicts a large drop in infection cases in Arizona by mid-March. “
This Seattle-based university study predicts an average of more than 9,000 new cases daily in Arizona in mid-February and three times fewer a month later.
“We understand that not all decisions regarding the postponement of activities can be made unilaterally by the Major League Baseball authorities. As a leader in the protection of public health and as a long-term partner in running training camps, know that we are united in this matter. ”
However, the Cactus League and the Arizona government say they are open to discussions with the major leagues to find the best possible solution.
For its part, the Players’ Association responded by sending out its own press release later in the day.
“While we all share the same goal of having a safe training camp and season, Major League Baseball has repeatedly assured us that she will continue to tell the teams to get ready for the start of the camps. Training and season start on the usual dates and we continues to work to get there in the safest possible way. ”
The players’ association rejects some proposals
Meanwhile, the Players Association rejected an offer from Major League Baseball that would have led to some significant changes in the sport.
According to MLB Network, the major leagues have offered to keep the designated hitter in the National League, a concept introduced in the last shortened season, but will instead want to add teams to the playoffs, which the Players Association refused.
However, according to the “San Francisco Chronicle”, the two parties are still open to negotiations.