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When could MLB actually return? Here's the latest we're hearing

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When Major League Baseball announced Opening Day would be delayed by at least two weeks, two words stood out: at least.
As each day passes, and the coronavirus pandemic continues, it's clear those two weeks could likely become two months -- or more.
Here's the latest on what we're hearing about a possible start to the 2020 MLB season, and how the schedule, special events, playoffs and World Series would be affected.

March 16: Is a June return realistic?

Rob Manfred announced after a conference call with all 30 teams that Major League Baseball will push back Opening Day until mid-May at the earliest after the federal government recommended restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

From the start, my over-under on when the MLB season will begin has been the All-Star Game, based on both the sentiment of people high up in baseball and at the union and simply looking at the trajectory of Italy. But even then, that feels somewhat optimistic. I was texting with one player and told him I was with friends for a fantasy draft this weekend. And he said, "Baseball in 2020. Fantasy indeed." -- Jeff Passan

There are folks at the team level who think that a return in June might be possible but, in the end, may be an optimistic projection. The realities of the federal and state guidelines and the calendar of baseball preparation supports that: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just recommended having no crowds of greater than 50 for the next eight weeks -- and assuming that MLB and the players' association would respect that guideline (and there's no reason to think they wouldn't), that would mean that spring training wouldn't resume until mid-May, at the earliest.
Players would need at least two to three weeks after that to prepare for the start of a truncated season, which backs us up into June. And, of course, the rapidly changing circumstances will continue to dictate the context for any decision. -- Buster Olney
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