MLB Florida Teams Marlins, Rays Reopen Training Facilities
Ahead of plans to end the 2020 postseason before the pandemic hits its second wave, the MLB has to finalize its proposals for the return of the 2020 season, but Florida-based teams are hopeful that the league gets back on track as soon as possible. In fact, two teams reopened their facilities for players to use for individual training.
The Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays now welcome players to their training facilities. The Marlins became the first team to reopen its spring training facility in Jupiter, Florida. The Tampa Bay Rays then followed this by opening their home stadium in Tropicana Field for limited use. On Marlin’s facilities, the organization released a few guidelines for players who want to participate:
- The workouts are on a strictly voluntary basis
- Players are required to adhere to strict social distancing measures
- Players are required to wear masks around the facility
Both Florida-based teams offered their facilities and workout programs to players on their 40-man rosters. Group workouts or drills are not allowed, and all clubhouses will remain closed until further notice. The Marlins, however, reportedly granted access to their batting cages and pitching mounds. The Rays will limit their programs for cardio exercises and light throwing for now.
With The Marlins and Rays leading the opening of training facilities, the MLB community awaits the other 28 teams to reopen their facilities. At press time, no other team has made an announcement. Teams imposing strict regulations are probably following orders from state governments. Regardless, we’re expecting several teams to follow Marlins and Rays’ decision in the coming weeks.
MLB teams left their camps in mid-March after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to suspend training and postpone the 2020 season. The MLB committee and its officials are now negotiating with player unions to come up with safe and concrete plans for the return of the season.
League commissioner Rob Manfred, one of the spokespersons in the committee, confirmed that they are already making plans to play in empty stadiums:
“I think it’s hopeful that we will have some Major League Baseball this summer… “We are making plans about playing in empty stadiums but, as I’ve said before, all of those plans are dependent on what the public health situation is and us reaching the conclusion that it’ll be safe for our players and other employees to come back to work.”