Samson: MLB Will Be Suspended Longer Than Two Weeks

No one knows when baseball will return, but it won't be in two weeks, David Samson says

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
March 13, 2020 - 11:50 am
Spring Training 2020

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, MLB suspended spring training and delayed Opening Day by at least two weeks.

“It was obviously necessary,” former MLB executive and current Nothing Personal host David Samson said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I think the only thing we have to prepare ourselves for is that it’s not just going to be two weeks.”

Indeed, it will likely be much longer than that.

“I think when you look at what’s happening, when you look at what it takes to flatten the curve, which means you’re trying to spread out the infections so the health care system doesn’t get overly taxed and basically shut down or run out of hospital beds, I think you’re looking at a situation where it’s going to take longer,” Samson said. “Which is why the other leagues have [used the words] ‘suspended indefinitely.’ I think baseball used a time period, and they were the only league to do that. I just don’t think they know because no one really knows what the exact time period will be. I think we have to mentally prepare that it could be a little longer.”

Even if the United States gets a handle on the pandemic in a timely fashion, players will need time to prepare for the season. Think of this as a mid-game rain relay, Samson said; pitchers don’t sit for two hours and then go back to the mound. They have to stay loose between the action.

“It’s a very tough decision,” Samson said. “We don’t have an exact date. Therefore we don’t know what to do with our players to keep them ready, which means we’re going to need at least three weeks of spring training once we start up again. There are people who will tell you two weeks is plenty, and if you’re given two weeks, you make it work and you adjust during games, which means the regular season would start and there’d be starting pitchers going three innings or four innings – which, by the way, in the old days was a bigger problem. These days with the expanded rosters, with the hook being given to pitchers so much faster than it ever was, it may not be as big an issue. So I’d say two weeks is the minimum, but three weeks would be the preference.”