Coronavirus means the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers’ season-opening series for the 2020 MLB season will likely either be moved or played in an empty stadium, based on recent developments.
Evan Drelich with the Athletic wrote last night that the Mariners had discussed the possibility of moving the series, a four game set scheduled to begin March 26, 2020, due to the Seattle area being an epicenter for COVID-19, the coronavirus that is causing the current health emergency worldwide. Drelich said that there were no plans yet, but that there had been discussions of either playing before an empty stadium in Seattle, with no fans, or moving the series to either Arlington or to Peoria, Arizona, where the Mariners’ spring training takes place.
Today, it is being reported that Washington Governor Jay Inslee is banning gatherings of more than 250 people in the state. Such a move would necessitate one of the alternate plans being put in place for the Mariners/Rangers series, assuming MLB doesn’t simply delay the start of the season.
This is an extremely fluid and fast-moving situation, and the impact on MLB and the Rangers is minimal compared to the overall impact of this crisis on individuals and the world at large, but this is a Rangers blog, and to the extent this crisis is impacting MLB and the Rangers, I will be writing about it.
We will obviously update this as the situation develops.