Pirates React to Cancelled Spring Training

Searching for answers in an unprecedented situation

Jeff Hathhorn
March 12, 2020 - 5:53 pm
Pirates walk off field

93.7 the Fan

BRADENTON, FL (93.7 the Fan) – Spring Training games ended at LECOM Park Thursday afternoon after a decision by Major League Baseball to cancel the remaining exhibition games and delay the start of the 2020 regular season by two weeks “due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic.”

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“Safety of the players and fans and everyone involved is the most important,” said Pirates manager Derek Shelton.  “Whatever we can do to keep players and staff and media, everyone involved in the game safe.  That’s what we have to do.”

Shelton was unsure minutes after the 7-5 loss to Toronto what the schedule will be, other than they will continue to have talks and try and figure out how to move forward.

“It’s kinda a bummer for it to happen at this point in the season,” said pitcher Joe Musgrove.  “Everyone is a week and a half or two weeks from the season and everyone is amped up and ready to go.”

“You’re talking a life-threatening situation that is bigger than baseball,” said veteran outfielder Jarrod Dyson.  “As bad as everyone wants to see baseball and we would love to see it and be out there and perform.  Overall, it’s about your health, the life you are impacting and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to be on the safe side.”

Musgrove said he didn’t find out until after pitching in Thursday’s game and he’s really not sure what to do.  Noting there are many little things that players now must take care of, like leases on apartments and condos and family arrangements, and some will have to wait to see if they even made the team.

The Bucs starter did try to stay positive.

“You take advantage of the time,” Musgrove said.  “That’s the reality of what’s happening.  You gotta face it head on and try to make the most of it.” 

“I think a couple of weeks of workouts and to work with the new staff and dive into stuff we didn’t have time to work on this spring.  Try and take advantage of the time we have and stay sharp.”

That will be a trick for the first-time manager is now that pitchers have worked up to be ready for games, how do you move going forward.  Do you keep them stretched out?  Do you scale them back?

“To answer that with any clarity, would be a false answer,” Shelton said.  “I honestly don’t know.”

“Ultimately all of this is to make sure that everyone is healthy and safe and we’re not providing a breeding ground for that stuff to spread,” Musgrove said.

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