In response to the COVID19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic situation, Major League Baseball cancelled spring training play in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues two weeks ago. Commissioner Rob Manfred then postponed the start of the 2020 regular season.

Last week, MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) reached agreement on a number of issues regarding the 2020 season, should one ultimately be played. The MLBPA ratified the deal on Thursday and the owners unanimously approved that deal on Friday.

There is no projected start-up date for a season. But both sides committed to scheduling as many games as possible. Both are willing to play well the regular season into October and postseason well into November. There is a possibility that warm weather neutral sites could be used in such a scenario.

Players will receive service time on a prorated basis based on how many games are ultimately played this year. However, they will receive credit for at least as much time as they received for the 2019 season.

The MLB Amateur Draft, originally scheduled for June 10, may be moved. That will be announced at a later date. The latest that the draft will be held is July 20. A number of issues covering the draft and bonuses to those selected was covered in the agreement.

Read the official statement released by MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark here.

Manfred released an official letter to all MLB fans which can be read here.

On Thursday, Manfred appeared in an exclusive ESPN interview:

Jim Edmonds, who was a four-time All-Star and seven-time Gold Glove Award winner during a 17-year big-league career from 1993-2010 spent mostly with the Cardinals (8) and Angels (7) is awaiting results of testing for the coronavirus. Edmonds was hospitalized over the weekend due to severe flu symptoms.

Per Christian Gooden of the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch: On Saturday evening, he posted a video from his home saying that he had tested positive for pneumonia and awaited word on other exams. He wrote on social media that he’s “not taking any chances because it’s so hard to get tested.

The Philadelphia Phillies have closed their offices and can be contacted via phone regarding ticketing and other issues at 215-463-1000.

It was announced today that the FDA has approved Johnson & Johnson to begin testing a COVID19 vaccine beginning in September.

Please visit the following vital sites for ongoing updates regarding the COVID19 / coronavirus pandemic:

City of Philadelphia Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19)

Philadelphia Department of Health

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

WHO (World Health Organization)

The Bell will keep ringing for Phillies and baseball fans all during this temporary crisis. Visit our website at philliesbell.com to enjoy our continuing Phillies coverage. Stay with us on social meda at Twitter, Facebook, LindedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and Tumblr at our @philliesbell feed.

 

THE BELL – COVID 19 COVERAGE

3.16.20 – COVID19 Update: Phillies and Major League Baseball

3.13.20 – Phillies Charities annual 5K postponed

3.13.20 – MLB clubs begin handling spring training ticket refund/exchange issues

3.13.20 – Bell to keep ringing through COVID19 pandemic

3.12.20 – Coronavirus hits Major League Baseball

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