Cactus League asks MLB to delay start of spring training because of COVID-19 pandemic


Leaders of all eight Cactus League cities have sent a letter to Major League Baseball saying it would be “wise” to delay the start of spring training due to the high rate of COVID-19 infections in Arizona’s Maricopa County.

“In view of the current state of the pandemic in Maricopa County — with one of the nation’s highest infection rates — we believe it is wise to delay the start of spring training to allow for the COVID-19 situation here,” reads the letter, first acquired by TV station KPNX in Phoenix. “This position is based on public data from University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which projects a sharp decline in infections in Arizona by Mid-March.”

The letter was signed by the executive director of the Cactus League, the city managers of Phoenix and Tempe, the mayors of Mesa, Scottsdale, Surprise, Glendale and Peoria, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community president

The Cactus League serves as the spring training home for 15 teams — the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers.

Major League Baseball has full authority over the start of spring training, which is now scheduled to officially begin on Feb. 27 in both Arizona and Florida, home of the Grapefruit League.



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