Several days after restricting clubhouse access to players and essential team personnel, Major League Baseball moved to cancel remaining Spring Training games and delayed the start of the 2020 season.
MLB’s initial decision pushed back Opening Day for two weeks, though the situation was considered fluid. Sure enough, an April 9 start was eventually ruled out, and now mid-May appears to be the earliest games would begin.
At the time of cancelling Cactus League and Grapefruit League games, club were under the expectation of still being able to hold workouts at their respective Spring Training facilities. That was clarified to only be informal activities, but gatherings were then banned under recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
That’s now a moot point for the Dodgers, as manager Dave Roberts revealed on “The Dan Patrick Show” that the club closed Camelback Ranch:
“I just learned we’re going to shut down our complex for the next two weeks to kind of reassess and see where we’re at. You’re trying to be responsible, keep guys going that want to keep working and (receive) treatment, but I think ultimately you’ve got to be responsible. Shutting down Camelback Ranch and taking care of the staff is the most important thing.”
Prior to closing Camelback Ranch, the Dodgers were in the process of speaking with players to determine who was going to remain in Arizona and who wished to return to Los Angeles and train at Dodger Stadium.
Upon the league’s first act to cancel Spring Training games, Roberts said his expectation was most players would still remain at Camelback Ranch. “Our guys are pretty adamant about wanting to stick around, because it is only two weeks,” he said at the time.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman echoed that sentiment when speaking to reporters just over one week later. Friedman himself was planning to remain in Arizona for the foreseeable future.
“My mindset right now is to be here for a little while,” he said. “I guess I also will read and react based on what’s going on. But I’m of the mindset of being here for as far as I can see out.”
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