Trevor Bauer organizing sandlot baseball game in Arizona during MLB’s COVID-19 shutdown

Major League Baseball, like many sports leagues around the world, has been shut down indefinitely because of the growing threat that is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Spring Training has been suspended and Opening Day will be pushed back at least two weeks, though that remains subject to change.

On Friday, MLB and the MLBPA informed teams that players have three options during the shutdown: stay at their team’s spring training facility, return to their offseason homes, or return to their team’s home city. For many players, returning home means going to Arizona. Fifteen teams hold spring training in Phoenix and many players put down permanent roots in the area.

To help pass the time during the shutdown, Cincinnati Reds pitchers Trevor Bauer and David Carpenter are organizing a sandlot-style baseball game in Phoenix. Carpenter reached out to Bauer on Twitter and that got the ball rolling:

Indians pitchers Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac, who were teammates with Bauer in Cleveland, and Padres outfielder Tommy Pham are among those who followed up to say they’re on board. Bauer says the game is open to any and all major leaguers and minor leaguers.

No date, time, or location has been announced, possibly because MLB and the MLBPA may try to shut the game down, but Bauer says the sandlot game is happening. It will be broadcast on his website, Momentum, and everyone will wear microphones during the game as well. Bauer said being mic’ed up is “mandatory.” That’s always fun, and players will presumably be unfiltered now.

Players started to head home Friday and will continue to do so throughout the weekend. With players leaving camp, MLB is likely to hold a second, possibly abbreviated, spring training before beginning the regular season, whenever that happens.

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