Baseball players have been given leave to return home to their families rather than remain at spring training sites, an indication that Opening Day is unlikely to take on April 9 after just a two-week delay.
Detroit Tigers players had originally been asked to hang around Lakeland for a bit until there was more clarity about MLB’s decision to cancel spring training and delay the start of the season.
But on Friday the players’ union notified players that they did would be able to go home to families if they choose. Tigers players may also remain in Lakeland or fly to Detroit if they would prefer.
The union guidance applies only to players on the 40-man roster. Minor league players have no union representation.
Baseball’s declaration on Thursday effectively postponed games scheduled between Opening Day, March 26, and April 9.
Under the best-case scenario — just a two-week delay — the “new Opening Day” would have been on April 10, although that now seems ambitious.