Philadelphia Phillies and MLB COVID-19 pandemic regular season days lost: 7.

Over this past weekend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel advisory for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to anyone other than those deemed part of critical infrastructure industries due to extensive community transmission of COVID-19 in those area.

Two days earlier the CDC had offered self-quarantine guidance for transportation and delivery workers in the hard-hit New York area. The following per Gothamist.com, which updates information in the New York metro area daily:

The city is now the epicenter of the crisis in the U.S., with 41,771 confirmed cases as of Tuesday afternoon, an increase of more than 1,000 over the previous day. Statewide, there are now more than 75,000 people who have tested positive for the disease.

The City of Toronto has banned public events through June 30 per the MLB Trade Rumors site. How this would affect Major League Baseball should they decide to begin play is uncertain. Here is a relevant snippet from a press release from the mayor, John Tory:

The City urges event organizers to follow Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health’s recommendations of physical distancing as a way to minimize COVID-19 transmission in the community when reviewing their event plans for the upcoming months and make prudent decisions about their cancellations.

The Inquirer reports on Wednesday that the number of cases is “approaching 19,000 in New Jersey, nearly 6,000 in Pennsylvania” and that the Delaware governor has said that in his states “numbers could spike in the next three weeks to over 3,000 cases and 500 hospitalizations.

SEPTA is operating on a Saturday schedule until further notice, with regional rail on an essential service schedule. Buses and trolleys are now free to ride. The agency is asking passengers to board and exit via rear doors, so as to limit exposure of its drivers. This was a statement from an official of the transportation agency per phillymag.com:

During the COVID-19 crisis, SEPTA will remain focused on providing transportation for essential workers, and for customers who need access to health care, grocery stores and other life-sustaining services. For everyone’s health and safety, we ask that all others refrain from using SEPTA.

Stay updated on the coronavirus pandemic from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the NIH (National Institutes of Health. Also, check out the City of Philadelphia Business Activity and Stay at Home Order.

Major League Baseball announced today that their 2020 London Series between the rival Chicago Cubs and Saint Louis Cardinals scheduled for June 13-14 has been cancelled due to the pandemic.

The New York Post is reporting that, if MLB does indeed decide to start the 2020 season at some point, that season would be likely to begin without fans for games in New York, quoting two unnamed officials:

By a matter of weeks, we will be able to play games without crowds [before we can play games] with them.” Another official said, “I think the only way we play, at least initially, is without fans.

According to Jayson Stark, this will be the first MLB season since 1883 with no games played during the month of April. It will be just the fourth time it has happened in Major League history:

Now for the latest Philadelphia Phillies news from local and national resources:

Matt Gelb at The Athletic reached out to the popular Phillies radio broadcasting team of Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen to see how they are handling the pandemic and baseball shutdown:

We’ve texted a lot,” Franzke said. “Larry has been sending me internet memes. Like, a lot of them. Right and left. That’s all he’s been doing, I think.”

I have nothing else to do,” Andersen said. “Kristi won’t talk to me.

Literally, we’re a mile apart, but I haven’t seen him,” Franzke said. “I have not seen him since spring training shut down.

Franzke and Andersen joined fellow Phillies broadcasters Gregg Murphy, Tom McCarthy, John Kruk, and Kevin Frandsen in catching up with one another on Tuesday via a Zoom meeting. Ben Davis later said “I was never invited” to the online meeting.

Pat Devlin at NBC Sports Philadelphia wrote on the best game that he ever saw in person, featuring the unforgettable 1993 Phillies. I have always maintained that team provided the single most fun season of baseball that I have ever watched from start to finish.  Devlin’s favorite is a 20-inning marathon ultimately won by a Lenny Dykstra walk-off hit:

The Phillies took a two-run lead into the 9th, and in came Mitch Williams. When Mitch entered, you never knew what would happen. But that year, he ended up with 43 saves. You knew it wouldn’t be 1-2-3, but you had a little more confidence in ’93. Unfortunately, this was not a night he recorded one of those saves.

Hank Azaria, who stars as grizzled veteran baseball broadcaster Jim Brockmire on IFC’s comedy series “Brockmire” tried to put a humorous spin on the entire coronavirus pandemic:

Looking for your Philadelphia Phillies television fix? On Wednesday evening, NBC Sports Philadelphia will air the 2007 season finale in which the club won to clinch the first of what would become five consecutive National League East Division crowns.

Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia wrote on that game, in which Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins capped off his historic NL MVP regular season with one final clutch performance:

Sitting on 777 plate appearances for the season, Rollins stepped to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Phillies were winning, there might be no bottom of the ninth and you figured it was likely going to be his final trip to the dish. Rollins needed one more triple to become only the fourth player in baseball history with at least 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in the same season.

On Monday afternoon, I appeared as a guest on the “Phillies Talk” podcast hosted by  Rich Baxter in which we talked about the numerous effects that the coronavirus pandemic has had on baseball and society. It was a wide-ranging discussion that I think you would enjoy.

You can view the archives for these Lunch Bell reports at any time. They are released every day all year-round barring some unusual circumstance. Each report highlights important updates on the Phillies and MLB, including articles curated from around the web, social media posts, and video. During the pandemic we will include any relevant updates in that regard as well.

Be sure to follow The Bell all across social media at our @philliesbell handle: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok.

NOTE: If viewing our stories on your mobile device, switch to “Hide Reader View” in order to get the full experience which usually includes pictures, video content, and key social media posts.

Finally, happy 72nd birthday to one of the first Phillies stars that I ever followed as a kid, Willie Montanez!

One thought on “Lunch Bell: April 1, 2020

  1. I’m sad to say that this might be the first year that there will be no baseball 😢😢😢

    Like

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