Feb 17, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball will initiate a major change in its standard operating practices in response to the spread of the coronavirus. Per Jeff Passan of ESPN.com (Twitter links), clubhouses will be closed to media.

Just how long this standard will apply remains to be seen, though there’s no indication it’s anything but a temporary measure. Presumably, it’ll depend upon the course of the worrisome disease. The move comes on the heels of similar actions from the NBA and NHL.

It’s something of a partial measure that relates only to team personnel. There’s no reason to believe that media interactions are any more dangerous than the many other person-to-person interactions that players engage in on a daily basis.

This action will obviously not mean anything for fans or for the broader spread of the coronavirus, creating some evident incongruity. Passan adds that the league will continue to stage Spring Training and (ultimately) regular-season games. Those plans remain subject to change, on both a universal and situational basis.

This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.


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