Spring Training Games Will Not Happen Before March 5
Wednesday would have been the day that Phillies pitchers and catchers would have reported to Clearwater, Florida to begin Spring workouts. Next weekend would have been the first of Grapefruit League games, with the Phillies opening against the Yankees in Tampa on Saturday, February 26, before splitting up to play at home in Clearwater against the Minnesota Twins and on the road in Dunedin against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin on Sunday, February 27. Those games have been officially pushed back.
Major League Baseball announced on Friday that Spring Training games in Florida and Arizona will not begin any sooner than March 5.
MLB.com's Mark Feinsand has the statement from Major League Baseball on the matter:
We regret that, without a collective bargaining agreement in place, we must postpone the start of Spring Training games until no earlier than Saturday, March 5,” the league said in a statement. “All 30 clubs are unified in their strong desire to bring players back to the field and fans back to the stands."
So what does that mean for fans who purchased tickets for these games?
The statement indicates that fans will receive a full refund for games that are not taking place. This would seem to indicate that they would pick up with the schedule already in place on March 5.
So for fans with flights, hotels, and plans in Clearwater prior to March 5? Clearwater is a nice place.
According to many reports, February 28 is the last date an agreement may take place in order for the March 31 season start to begin on time. Indications are that the two sides expect heavy negotiations next week.