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News and Notes: April 1, 2020

The latest from around Major League Baseball

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the latest from around baseball as we at long last begin a new month.

  • Tom Harrington reported that the City of Toronto has banned all public events through June 30, 2020 as part of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Although sporting events aren’t technically included, the edict does make increasingly unlikely the prospect of the Blue Jays playing baseball in Rogers Centre at any point before July, and as a result seemingly pushes back MLB’s potential opening day even further as the pandemic continues to spread. Although the possibility of games played without fans cannot be ruled out, they appear to be a long shot at this point.
  • Major League Baseball has finally taken an important step towards appropriate compensation of minor leaguers, with Kristie Ackert reporting that the league will be paying MiLB players $400 per week through at least the end of June, along with medical benefits. Ordinarily, these are limited to periods when games are actually occurring, and minor leaguers ordinarily are not paid for Spring Training. Though this long-overdue development is undoubtedly welcome, that it took a pandemic for MLB to finally take this action is unfortunate. Still, it would behoove the league to ensure that this upgraded compensation remains the norm moving forward, and not just through June 30.
  • The inimitable Sara Sanchez continues to evoke the mood of the postponed season with her daily diary, a must-read for everyone enduring baseball withdrawals during this trying time. The latest edition, a photographic exploration of an eerily quiet Wrigley Field on what would have been the Cubs’ home opener, is worth your attention.