Major League Baseball (MLB) announced today that the league has decided to cancel the remainder of its spring training games and postpone the start of the 2020 season at least two weeks in response to the U.S. coronavirus outbreak. In a release, MLB officials said, "This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, clubs and our millions of loyal fans." In Sarasota and Manatee counties, the news affects the Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves.
In a statement, the Baltimore Orioles said that the organization is "fully supportive" of the MLB's decision and encouraged all players, fans and staff to follow guidelines established by the CDC and other public health organizations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Pittsburgh Pirates chairman Bob Nutting added that "together we will work through this unprecedented situation as we look forward to the return of baseball as soon as possible."