On Thursday, the Red Sox enjoyed their only scheduled day off of spring training.
Starting Friday, they -- and the other 29 teams -- will have more time off than they could have ever imagined.
Joining the NBA and NHL, Major League Baseball announced Thursday afternoon that spring training was suspended as of 4 p.m. and the start of the regular season -- slated to begin in exactly two weeks -- would be delayed by at least two weeks "due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic.''
The Red Sox had been scheduled to begin the regular season on March 26 in Toronto with a four-game series against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. They were next scheduled to travel to Baltimore for a three-game series (March 30-April 1) before returning to Fenway for their scheduled home opener against the Chicago White Sox on April 2, the first game of a three-game series. They were then set to host the Tampa Bay Rays for three games April 6-8 before departing for a seven-game road trip to the West Coast.
MLB said it was "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.''