Well, it was sort of inevitable after the NBA suspended its season after a player tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, MLB cancelled Spring Training and pushed back the start of Spring Training for at least two weeks, with many involved in the game expecting the delay to drag all the way into May.
Players have been told they can either remain in their Spring Training facilities, return to their team's city, or go home. Basically, they can do whatever they want. Most teams seem to be remaining in their Spring Training areas as of now, but only the New York Yankees have declared that all their players will be continuing workouts this Spring. Again, it is believed that most teams will do the same, but as of now, only Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman have announced that they are staying at Camelback Ranch for the foreseeable future. Roberts has made a point of saying that it is pertinent for players, especially pitchers, to continue to ramp up for the season, so I would imagine that most Dodgers will remain in Arizona and work out together. Furthermore, Roberts has said that he is not aware of any players planning to leave Arizona, and that no Dodgers have been tested for COVID-19 or are sick in any way.
To put it simply, this sucks. If any year was going to be the year for the Dodgers, it was gonna be this one. Mookie Betts and David Price. Refurbished pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. Established stars like Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Walker Beuhler entering their primes. Possible young stars like Gavin Lux, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin emerging. MLB seems intent on playing 162 games once the season starts, possible with the Regular Season extending through October and the playoffs being in neutral, warm areas. They can come up with as many wacky contingencies as they like, but it won't be the same. No hot starts in April and May, no walkoffs in June and July, no inevitable, miserable bullpen collapses in August, and no playoff tryouts in September. This is all part of the Dodgers', and every team's, character. October baseball will no longer have the same, ominous, foreboding presence. Yes, there will be a Postseaon. Yes, it will probably be the same as in past years. But really, it won't be. It will intruded further upon Football, dropping the ratings, and minimizing interest. It's no fun to watch your team play in a neutral spot during the World Series. What about the critical value of home field advantage? Who will fill that stadium? Will any of this even happen, anyways? These are all questions to which we do not, and may not for a while, have the answers. All we can do for now is sit tight and frantically wash our hands.