Will The Countdown Clock To MLB Spring Training Be Stopped?

The COVID-19 pandemic is not subsiding.

Does Major League Baseball have an Arizona Spring Training problem? It is very possible MLB is going to run head into a COVID-19 problem when training facilities open up in a little more than a month in both Arizona and Florida. Both areas have high COVID-19 rates and there are some people according to reporters who are hoping that MLB pushes back spring training a month and that would give Arizona time to get COVID-19 vaccines to people and also drive to stop and slow the spread of the virus. But MLB wants to have a full 162 game schedule complete with training camp and see some people in the seats as well. Earlier this week, Arizona’s seven-day COVID-19 tracker placed the state on top for new COVID-19 cases per capita in the nation. That is not exactly the kind of news that would hearten a business and probably would case some concern for a business. But Major League Baseball is soldiering on, there is money to be made from TV and marketing partners despite conducting business in a red-hot COVID-19 cluster, the metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona area.

As of January 12th, Arizona reported 129.5 cases per 100,000 which is far above the nationwide average of 75.2 cases per 100,000 people. In Arizona 92 percent of the Intensive Care Unit beds and 92 percent of hospital beds were in use with most of those in the hospital suffering from COVID-19 symptoms. It is not a good place to be and medical officials are not optimistic that things will be getting better in the near future. Money probably plays a role in all of this. MLB does not want to play November baseball because its TV partner FOX would prefer not to have games during the November ratings sweeps. TV calls the shots. Medical opinions are just opinions.

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FILE – In this Feb. 25, 2020, file photo, The Phillie Phanatic mascot performs before a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)