After meeting with Major League Baseball Players Association officials in Arizona, Major League Baseball announced that Spring Training camps will be suspended, effective immediately. Big-league players can elect to return home, remain in their Spring Training cities — in either Arizona or Florida — or return to their organization’s home city. Additionally, MLB sent a memo to all 30 teams saying that players not on the 40-man rosters — which in Rays camp includes nine with time in the majors — should be sent home.
The player meeting was the first since the suspensions of both Spring Training and the start of the regular season until at least April 9th due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While this is a surreal situation to be faced with, Tyler Glasnow, the team’s union rep, said at the time he, and the players were pleased that they would have the chance to continue to work out.
I think for the most part for us, we’re relatively close with being in season and being in Spring Training. I think it’s a little bit easier for us. As of now, I think a lot of guys are trying to stay local and just kind of stay indoors and away from people.— Tyler Glasnow
As Marc Topkin (Tampa Bay Times) wrote on Sunday, the team plans to have their Port Charlotte facility open Monday, though with strong recommendations from the league to not have players gather in “significant numbers” and to remain able to practice proper social distancing methods.
That, however, may change as commissioner Rob Manfred plans a Monday conference call to provide further updates to the ball-clubs from medical experts.
The Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Rowdies announced they will shut down their Tropicana Field and Al Lang Stadium team offices for at least two weeks to, essentially, everyone but security personnel. That decision impacts about 260 employees at Tropicana Field, and another 40 with the Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium.
The team had planned to shift informal workouts at the Trop starting next week, but that now seems unlikely given the decision to close the offices and limit staffing.
As a result, the Rays sent home the bulk of their 150-plus minor-leaguers, although the team will provide them with the $400 a week per diem they would receive at camp. They also sent home players from their academies in the Dominican Republic. Meanwhile, players on the 40-man roster will continue to get their $195 a day per diem for expenses potentially until the April 9 targeted (and unlikely) delayed Opening Day. The non-roster players will get theirs through next week.
On Sunday, team presidents Brian Auld and Matt Silverman publicly shared an internal message that was initially sent to Rays and Rowdies employees, seeking “aggressive action” throughout the Tampa Bay area against the spread of the Coronavirus which causes COVID-19. In the memo (seen above) Auld and Silverman wrote “there is good reason to believe (the virus) is spreading rapidly throughout Florida. … Now is the time to take aggressive action to protect your household and to isolate yourself in service of us all. … THE NEXT 14 DAYS MAY VERY WELL BE THE MOST CRUCIAL of this pandemic in the United States.”
We don’t normally share our internal staff communications with the public, but in this case we thought it was important for our fans and community to understand how seriously we take this virus. How our community responds in the coming days will have a material impact on how deadly the impact of COVID-19 is on our region.— Brian Auld, to the Tampa Bay Times
…On social isolation
For what it’s worth, it has come to my attention that many younger people have not taken the social isolation directive to heart. I get it, we are social creatures that like to do things. We like to go to small confined places with tons of other people and while away the time. And while COVID-19 may not pose a serious threat to the sub-50-year-old demographic, as well as those in good health, my mom is 73-years-old and isn’t getting any younger. I also have many relatives in a similar position. To be frank, I would rather practice social isolation than be at risk of contracting something that could affect someone from an at-risk population. It’s called being altruistic.
No, I will not be attending some random DJ night. Thanks for the Facebook invitation though. I also will not be in attendance at a concert some band may be hosting or playing, or a Spring Break party that boasts an invite list of 50 people. You get the idea. And in all honesty, you probably shouldn’t attend or host those events either.
Please consider the well-being of others who may have weaker immune systems, as well as those who cannot easily fight off this virus. Nothing against any given event, I’m sure it would be epic under normal circumstances. It’s just that I would rather give my at-risk friends and family members an opportunity to hear about what could have been, rather than attend an event and put them in a bad situation.
Lastly, it’s critically important to support small businesses right now. After all, they are the backbone of our economy. Get creative, there are many ways to show those businesses love.
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Saw this multi-colored handbill at the bookstore yesterday, and I definitely want to work with these folks for band stuff. Bands and the artists that work along side of them are totally struggling because of the COVID-19 outbreak. It got me thinking, I am trying to do my due diligence and support small businesses during this trying time. I hope you will do the same! Here is a list of IG handles of local businesses I am fond of. Help me by helping them — small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy! @centraloakbarberco_stpete, @bananas_records, @planetretrorecords, @starbootysalon, @craftkafe, @blackcrowcoffeeco, @casitataqueria, @redmesamercado, @eatatbaba, @goldendinosaursvegandeli, @zaytoon_grill, @ifibrewedtheworld, @greenbenchbrewing, @cyclebrewing, @benthanhrestaurant, @rollinoatsstpete, @stpetersbark, @stpeteferments, @tombolobooks, @pinellaschocolate, @trailbale, @littlepondfarm, @nahdogs_stpete, so on and so forth.