• MLB remains suspended as a precautionary measure for COVID-19
  • Rob Manfred emphasizes that public health is the top priority 
  • Fans and experts shared on social media their thoughts on the absence of baseball 

The coronavirus has forced major sporting leagues to halt their operations as a precautionary measure for everyone’s safety. The MLB was unable to continue their spring training and the season opener due to the threat of COVID-19. Commissioner Rob Manfred revealed that in this difficult predicament there are certain conditions that must be met.

The league ensures that the health and safety of the fans, players and employees are the main priority. Manfred shared in CBS Sports that the main condition is really rooted in public health.

"The only real decision that we have made, the only real plan that we have is that baseball is not going to return until the public health situation has improved to the point that we're comfortable, that we can play games in a manner that's safe for our players, our employees, our fans, and in a way that will not impact the public health situation adversely,” Manfred said.

Business is expected to follow contingency planning in the interim as Manfred emphasized that improvement of public safety is their main concern.

With this, Manfred touched on the proposed idea of isolating the league in Arizona in order to jump-start the season. This raised concern for multiple players as it would entail keeping them quarantined and away from their families for months. Manfred said that these are all backup ideas in this rapidly evolving situation. He stressed that there are multiple restrictions that have to be considered such as travel and social gathering limitations.

“We thought about ways to try to make baseball available to all the fans across the United States in the face of those restrictions,” he said.

“From our perspective, we don't have a plan, we have lots of ideas. What ideas come to fruition depends on what the restrictions are, what the public health situation is, but we are intent on the idea of making baseball a part of the economic recovery and sort of a milestone on the return to normalcy," he concluded.

Fans and experts have been aching for the season to start and the creative ideas from the league caused some unique and mixed reactions online.

While the league has thought of creative ideas in this difficult time, Manfred highlights that it’s all about the safety and wellbeing of the players, employees and fans enjoying the sport.

Rob Manfred
In this picture, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred speaks at Clark Sports Center during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 29, 2018, in Cooperstown, New York. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images