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FAQ: How coronavirus impacts Mets, MLB

@AnthonyDiComo
March 13, 2020

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Major League Baseball announced on Thursday that all remaining Grapefruit and Cactus League games have been cancelled, and that the start of the regular season will be pushed back at least two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. In light of that, here is a

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Major League Baseball announced on Thursday that all remaining Grapefruit and Cactus League games have been cancelled, and that the start of the regular season will be pushed back at least two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. In light of that, here is a list of questions pertinent to the Mets:

When will the season start?

There is no official start date for the season at this time. What we do know is that the start of the season will be delayed at least two weeks. Opening Day had been scheduled for Thursday, March 26.

MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season. Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to all 30 clubs in the coming days.

How will the schedule change to accommodate the late start?

According to the release sent by MLB, the league and teams have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular-season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.

What’s going to happen with the rest of Spring Training?

Forthcoming Spring Training games were canceled as of 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, and 2020 World Baseball Classic qualifying games scheduled in Tucson, Ariz., were postponed indefinitely.

What about Minor League Baseball?

Minor League Baseball announced Thursday that the start of the regular season, originally scheduled for April 9, will be delayed indefinitely.

Where will players go?

At least initially, Mets players are expected to remain in Port St. Lucie to train. That could change as new information surfaces, but players are expected to report to the complex as usual on Friday, following Thursday’s scheduled team off-day.

I have tickets to the home opener, what does this mean for me? What about tickets to other games?

The Mets have not yet addressed their policy for previously purchased tickets for regular-season games. They will make an announcement at a later time.

The team will issue a full refund for tickets to their six cancelled Grapefruit League home games. Fans seeking refunds can do so in person until March 31 at the Clover Park Box Office from 2-5 p.m. ET on weekdays, or over the phone by calling 772-871-2115.

How might this affect the Mets once play resumes?

Before MLB’s announcement, the Mets were uncertain whether outfielder Michael Conforto would have enough time to return from a strained right oblique before Opening Day. A two-week delay to the season makes it far more likely that Conforto will be able to play.

The break also gives injured players such as Yoenis Céspedes and Jed Lowrie more time to recover, though their timelines are murkier.

Which games will be impacted?

The Mets’ first four series were scheduled at home against the Nationals and Phillies, and on the road in Washington and Houston. None of those games will be played as scheduled, but MLB has not announced if they will be cancelled or postponed to a later date.

What is the story with Donovan Mitchell?

Upon learning this week that Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell Jr. tested positive for COVID-19, the Mets isolated his father, community relations staffer Donovan Mitchell Sr., and advised him to stay away from their Spring Training facility. Mitchell Sr. subsequently underwent coronavirus testing, which came back negative.

What are they saying?

Pete Alonso took to Twitter following MLB’s announcement, offering the following: “First and foremost, I want to say I’m going to miss baseball. God willing, it will only be a short hiatus from the best game in the world. … The best things in life (baseball season) are worth waiting for.”

Mets farmhand Tim Tebow also asked fans to “join me in prayer for everyone around the world impacted by the coronavirus.”

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.