- The Washington Times - Monday, January 25, 2021

The Arizona Cactus league has asked MLB to delay the beginning of spring training due to the high coronavirus infection rates in the area.

In a letter sent to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, executive director of the Cactus League Bridget Binsbacher and the leaders of nearby cities said the community remains ready to work with MLB and has created a task force to make sure the 10 spring training facilities are safe.

“But in view of the current state of the pandemic in Maricopa County — with one of the nation’s highest infection rates — we believe it is wise to delay the start of spring training to allow for the COVID-19 situation to improve here,” the letter said.

“This position is based on public data from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which projects a sharp decline in infections in Arizona by mid-March (an estimated 9,712 daily infections on February 15 and 3,072 daily infections on March 15),” the letter continued.

MLB has offered little guidance regarding spring training, which is supposed to begin in mid-February. The MLB Players’ Association and the league still have health-and-safety issues to work out, according to ESPN.

The Cactus League, which hosts 15 MLB teams, can’t delay the start of spring training on its own. 

• Andy Kostka can be reached at akostka@washingtontimes.com.

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