Philadelphia Phillies and MLB 2020 season days lost to the COVID-19 pandemic: 12.

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Jeff Passan and Alden Gonzalez at ESPN wrote on the experiences currently taking place with Korean baseball that could shed light on MLB 2020 opening possibilities:

Halfway across the world, in the country that thus far has stifled the coronavirus better than any, they’re playing baseball again. The games are intrasquad scrimmages. The players sometimes wear masks on the field. It is sports with a dystopian twist. And yet South Korea has pitchers throwing pitches and hitters swinging bats and fielders gloving balls, and the rest of the world doesn’t.

EU4aKc6WsAEfwkhJoel Sherman at The New York Post wrote on which teams might be bigger losers than most others due to the pandemic delayed 2020 season:

For the Yankees…part of the tolerance to stretch to nine years at $324 million for Gerrit Cole was knowing, yeah, they likely would be overpaying over the last few seasons of the contract, but they also would be getting prime years early. Now, Cole’s final season in his 20s is tick, tick, ticking away without games.

Levi Weaver at The Athletic wrote on three men who would normally be working as organists at this time of year with the Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees respectively, but who now spend their time as first responders battling the coronavirus pandemic:

One is a retired air-traffic controller from Long Island who went on volunteer ambulance duty when the planes hit the World Trade Center towers. One is the captain of the St. Bernard Fire Department near Cincinnati and plays in a 1980s cover band. One was a church organist from Abilene who got a CDL license so he could drive a church van and ended up a first responder.

ESPN MLB insider Tim Kurkjian put out a nice “on this date in baseball history” piece remembering this date back in 1973 when the Pittsburgh Pirates retired Roberto Clemente‘s number:

ring the bell square red

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

The Phillies have provided the following update for fans at their official website. Presented in a Q&A style format, answers to some FAQ include the following:

In coordination with MLB, the Phillies will provide more information, including our ticket policy for impacted games, as soon as it is available. When updated official information becomes available, with respect to the postponed games, the Phillies will communicate it to fans promptly and through a variety of channels, including, direct email and Phillies social media channels. We ask that everyone keep their tickets for all home games as MLB and the Phillies continue to evaluate events leading up to the start of the season.

Matt Breen at The Inquirer wrote on Phillies Wall of Famer Larry Bowa and his incredible career of more than a half-century in professional baseball:

He turned 74 in December but was still throwing batting practice, swinging a fungo bat, and running infielders through drills at spring training. Fifty years after forcing his way into Connie Mack Stadium, Bowa’s baseball journey continues.

Todd Zolecki at quoted Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper on the current health crisis as he and his teammates wait for the hopeful start of a 2020 baseball season:

We’re pretty much on our own right now so we’re just trying to hear from our government about when everything is going to open up,” Harper said. “I think we’re all playing a waiting game … and I think that’s going to take some time. Once everybody realizes that this is really, really serious and we all need to stay inside and social distance and things like that, then hopefully … we can bring sports back into the world and hopefully heal a little bit, like years past with a lot of the things that have happened in this country.

Scott Lauber at The Inquirer also wrote on Harper, and how the Phillies superstar and his family are reacting and responding to the pandemic:

The gravity of it all isn’t lost on Harper. Not anymore. Major League Baseball suspended spring training on March 12, and shortly thereafter, he left Florida with his wife, Kayla, and 7-month-old son, Krew, retreating to their Las Vegas home. Ever since, they have followed along as Covid-19 spreads and the death toll rises.

Finally, Jim Salisbury at NBC Sports Philadelphia did a Harper take, this on the right fielder’s hopes of remaining teammates with J.T. Realmuto for a long time to come:

I think the Phillies organization absolutely loves J.T. and our team absolutely loves him as well,” Harper said per Salisbury. “He’s the best catcher in baseball. He’s a great person. He’s a great family man. He’s a guy that we need in our clubhouse. I think the Phillies fans understand that as well. Us as an organization, we have to understand that he’s going to help us in the years to come and if you want the best catcher in baseball then we’ll make that happen.

Philadelphia area coronavirus updates continue to be provided via The Inquirer live news ticker on the pandemic. Also, the City of Philadelphia is currently under a Business Activity and Stay at Home Order. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the NIH (National Institutes of Health have tremendous resources on updates and the national response.

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: TwitterFacebookInstagramLinkedInPinterest, and TikTok. Also, visit our Phillies Bell YouTube channel for a growing selection of video clips.

NOTE: Your big event on this date in Phillies history was an Opening Day showdown between a pair of Wall of Famers who would one day become teammates, Tug McGraw and Mike Schmidt.

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