Minor League Baseball officially called off the 2020 season on Tuesday, ending any hope of baseball being played this summer in ballparks across the country.
According to a statement from Minor League Baseball, Major League Baseball informed Minor League Baseball that it won't be making players available to the affiliate teams at the lower levels. This comes the week after MLB reached an agreement with players to start the season.
"These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we've had a summer without Minor League Baseball played," said Minor League Baseball President and CEO Pat O'Conner in a statement. "While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment."
What isn't known at this point is how many minor league teams can tread water for that long.
Many teams are reportedly facing an uphill battle as the coronavirus has cut off their main source of income. In May, Rep. Lori Trahan helped introduce legislation that would help ballclubs like the Lowell Spinners, which are in her district, continue to receive financial assistance from the government. The Spinners, like other clubs, were already facing the prospect of being dropped from the Minor Leagues altogether.
In a statement after the announcement, the Spinners said ticket deposits for this season would be credited towards next year.
"Though we are disappointed by MLB's decision, the Spinners remain committed to continue to work with the City of Lowell, Middlesex County and Commonwealth of Massachusetts authorities to ensure health, safety, and well-being of all citizens during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic," the statement said.
For the Pawtucket Red Sox, this was supposed to be their last season in Rhode Island before their move to Worcester. Instead, they've converted the empty outfield into an eatery for "Dining on the Diamond," where fans get to eat ballpark staples like hot dogs, along with other items.
In a statement addressing the news, the club said the Boston Red Sox have talked about using the club's ballpark, McCoy Stadium, for some of their workouts. The statement also said there are discussions with local officials to find uses for the stadium moving forward.
“Naturally, as baseball fans, we are deeply disappointed to not have a summer of PawSox Baseball, especially in our 50th-anniversary season,” said Charles Steinberg, president of the PawSox. “Yet all of us recognize that the health, safety, and well-being of our players, fans, and entire community are paramount. But we will keep the faith; this may not be how the story ends."