Baseball / MLB

Don Mattingly, Marlins stuck in limbo as MLB plans next steps

REUTERS

Marlins manager Don Mattingly and his team are coping with being in limbo as the coronavirus pandemic continues to create uncertainty in the world of professional sports and for many other businesses.

Mattingly has grown out a bushy light gray beard in the month since Major League Baseball pulled the plug on spring training in response to the restrictions on large gatherings and new requirements for social distancing put in place in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mattingly said he and his players have many of the same questions, but few answers, regarding when baseball might return.

"It's hard to give answers when we don't know what type of time frame we're talking about," Mattingly said Monday in a Periscope interview with Marlins play-by-play announce Paul Severino. "I know they're in the same boat. There's nothing really necessarily constructive that you're able to do. You don't know a time frame, so we're all kind of floating out here not really knowing what's going to happen next."

Mattingly said he is texting his players every week or two and meeting with his staff over the phone.

The expectation for the Marlins is baseball will provide a stronger indication of what's ahead by early May. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidelines indicating baseball in mid-May is unlikely. Several states are keeping their social distancing guidelines in place into late May.

Mattingly said the Marlins still have a handful of roster spots to decide on before any games are played.

"Things that we were able to hit on and push on, I think those are there," Mattingly said. "We have talked about different ways to continue that messaging through this. As we, if we, get to a point where we know when or how long, we're going to hopefully send messages to our guys and put some videos together and stuff that they could be looking at to refresh their memories of what we tried to accomplish during that month of spring training."

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