Diamondbacks CEO talks coronavirus fears ahead of regular season delay announcement

Posted at 8:59 AM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 15:51:36-04

PHOENIX — Just hours before the announcement that Major League Baseball’s regular season would be delayed and Spring Training would be suspended, the CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks discussed coronavirus concerns with Arizona Sports radio.

Derrick Hall told 98.7’s Doug and Wolf that the league has been working with health agencies and experts to make decisions. Hall says conversations about health and safety are happening everywhere with the best interest of the public and players in mind.

"The hysteria, the panic, the concern... all of which are valid... it's heightened," Hall said, after hearing that some athletes in other sports leagues have tested positive for coronavirus.

Multiple sports leagues had already made changes amid coronavirus concerns, with MLB joining the list around noon Thursday.

"These are tough decisions," Hall said, but "we have to take this seriously."

Hall said Thursday morning that the D-backs would "get by" if games were postponed and that it’s not a “crazy” idea to make those changes.

Hall said up until the suspension of Spring Training and announcement that the regular season would be delayed, they were cleaning and “doing everything to keep their safety and health in mind."

Last week, Major League Baseball said they were temporarily advising players not to sign baseballs or use pens that fans bring to Spring Training games as a precaution, because of the potential spread of the coronavirus.

The Diamondbacks' opening day game was set for Thursday, March 26, at 7:10 p.m. against the Atlanta Braves.

The "MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible,” league officials said Thursday.

“Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.”