Spring training: MLB discusses keeping teams on respective coasts in state

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia Writer: Jack Lowenstein
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JetBlue Park at Fenway South. Credit: WINK News.

Some major changes could soon come to spring training games and might limit the teams fans can see at ballparks in the state.

Major League Baseball says a plan is under review that would keep teams that train on the west coast and east coast apart for spring training ball games. It’s all being discussed for the purpose of limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are working on health and safety protocols for 2021 Spring Training and the regular season,” MLB shared with WINK News in a statement via email. “As a part of those efforts, we are studying how to best schedule games and limit travel due to our desire to preserve the health and safety of players and staff.”

If the new plan gets approved, MLB said the 10 MLB teams on the west coast would only play one another, and the same would go for the five teams on the east coast, which includes the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Miami Marlins, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.

The east coast teams would also play fewer games as part of the updated schedule.

People in Southwest Florida who wanted to watch the Cardinals or the Mets play on our coast might be out of luck. A Cardinals fan we spoke to moved to Port Charlotte from Missouri a couple of years ago. Seeing the Cardinals play in his own backyard was one of the things he looked forward to.

“I’m not really willing or able,” Rick Brown said. “I haven’t had my COVID shot, so I really don’t want to travel that far away, and I was thinking, you know, maybe I would go to the games here in Port Charlotte and in North Port and down in Fort Myers like I did last year when the Cardinals come.”

Brown said he takes COVID-19 and the pandemic seriously. If MLB chooses to move forward with this plan, Brown said he likely won’t go to a game in Southwest Florida.

Trust us to update you when MLB makes a decision for spring training in Florida.

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