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Dodgers Dugout: What is happening with the start of the season?

APphoto_Dodgers Indians Spring Baseball
Los Angeles Dodgers players warm up prior to a spring training game.
(Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell and we’re going to have to wait longer than originally expected for the first Dodger game of the season.

In case you’ve already gone into seclusion and missed it, Major League Baseball decided on Thursday to suspend spring training games and to push back the start of the regular season by two weeks. This, of course, is in response to the coronavirus outbreak around the world.

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I’m not going to get into a lengthy discussion into what the coronavirus is all about. I’m sure you’ve heard all about it. Sports leagues all over the world are postponing, delaying, interrupting or outright canceling their seasons or tournaments. That includes all the major U.S. sports leagues. Whether you agree with the decision or not, the decision has been made. So, what does it mean?

Well, at the time I am writing this, MLB is a bit hazy on the details. As Dave Roberts said, “a best-case scenario would be to play all 162 games, with postponed games from the first weeks of the season added to the end of the schedule.”

If that happens, what would the season look like?

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Well, the Dodgers would open the season April 10 at home against Washington. They would have postponed these games:

March 26-28 vs. San Francisco (which includes the traditional home opener on Thursday, March 26).

March 30-April 1 vs. Colorado

April 3-5 at San Francisco

April 6-9 at St. Louis

If they scheduled those games at the end of the season, it would push the season’s end to Oct. 10 at the earliest, which would push the playoffs back.

They could also just cancel those games entirely and go with a shortened season.

In short, no one has any idea what is going to happen, other than the season will be pushed back at least two weeks. But, Chicago has issued an edict that there can be no large public gatherings until May 1. What does that mean for the Cubs and White Sox?

We are in unprecedented times. I can certainly cut MLB a bit of slack to figure out exactly what is going to happen as we all hope and pray this virus doesn’t spread too rapidly or too far.

My heart goes out to those of you with spring training tickets who have emailed me the last week or so to see if there were going to be games. It takes a bit of planning to do a spring training trip properly, and those plans have all gone out the window. And what about those of you who spent an arm and a leg for opening day tickets, only to see that game evaporate?

The Dodgers have not announced their ticket refund policy yet. You should check their website at www.dodgers.com daily for updates. I am guessing they are waiting to see exactly what is happening with those rescheduled games. Prediction: If they are canceled, you get your money back. If they are rescheduled, you get a choice of using your ticket for the rescheduled game, or getting your money back. Still a bummer for those of you expecting to be there opening day.

What else is there to talk about?

Not a lot. Any great stories from spring training sort of become meaningless now, since there are no more spring training games. Batters who were in a groove could lose their groove. Same with pitchers. Clayton Kershaw was going to get the opening day start, and probably still will.

We’ll have another newsletter next week when things get finalized more and we know what is going to happen with the start of the season. Until then, I encourage you to take part in our regular features:

Ask Ross Porter

I am happy to announce that former Dodgers broadcaster Ross Porter has agreed to return for another season of “Ask Ross Porter.” We have a new email address this season for it. Ross will have access to this email address and will get your questions without me having to forward them. So, if you have a message (like thanking him for his years as a broadcaster) and not a question, feel free to let him know. Send your question to: rossporterdodgers@gmail.com. His answers will start appearing the week of March 30.

What is your first Dodgers memory?

I’m guessing most everyone who reads this has been a Dodgers fan for quite a while. I’d love for you to send me your first Dodgers memory, and I’ll run it in an upcoming Dodgers Dugout. Include your name. And don’t send only a sentence, tell why that memory sticks out in your mind. You can email me your memory at houston.mitchell@latimes.com. Thanks! I’ll start with the responses when the season begins.

And finally

Dave Roberts’ message to fans about the 2020 season. Watch it here.

Until next time...
Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter?Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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