MLB might need 4 weeks for second spring training before opening day, Blue Jays president says

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Major League Baseball may need four weeks of a second spring training before regular-season play begins, Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro said Saturday.

MLB has postponed Opening Day until at least mid-May because of the coronavirus outbreak. Officials originally had planned to wait for about two weeks but later announced they would adhere to government guidelines, urging people to skip gatherings of 50 people or more for at least eight weeks.

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“Knowing that so many players are not even having any access to throwing at all or hitting at all, but most importantly just throwing, and probably limited access to just training and exercise, it’s hard to imagine we could get ready in less than four weeks,” Shapiro told reporters.

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“I do think that we’re, by and large, waiting for some sort of flattening of the curve and recognition that we have done our best to limit the strain on the healthcare system and the economic system,” he said.

“Until that time, the exact outcome and impact on our schedule, and all of the corresponding business that cascades off that, really can’t be determined. It certainly looks like we are not dealing with days and likely not weeks, but closer to months.”

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Shapiro said no Blue Jays players or staff have shown any symptoms of the coronavirus nor have been tested.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.