As of Thursday, no Twins players, staffers or business-side employees have been tested for the novel coronavirus, according to two members of the Twins’ leadership team, Dave St. Peter and Derek Falvey.
That was one takeaway from Thursday in Major League Baseball, and a conference call with reporters as the Twins and the league continue to address what comes next in the wake of the spreading coronavirus in the United States.
Here are a few more notes:
During spring training, minor leaguers get a per diem that amounts to meal money, and that will continue through April 8, which was the scheduled start of the minor league season. MLB announced the lump-sum payments Thursday, roughly $400 per week.
“MLB remains in communication with clubs” over an industry-wide plan after that, the league said.
Twins president of baseball ops Derek Falvey said that they’ve talked with the league to offer guidance on how to handle the situation after the spring per-diems run out.
So, we already know the MLB season won’t start on time. It could be pushed into May, June or July. There’s even the possibility – given that we’ve been surprised before – that there will be no season in 2020. That’s getting a little ahead of ourselves, but it’s only natural to ask: What happens to the fans who have purchased tickets for games at Target Field that might not happen?
“We’re working on that,” St. Peter said.
“I’m optimistic that, over the course of the next week or two, we will be in a position to communicate directly with fans,” he said, noting that the first home game wasn’t scheduled until April 2.
“If things were to break in a way that allowed us to play baseball, say, in the middle to latter part of May or early June, there would probably be an effort to try to make up some games,” St. Peter said. “We’re asking fans to be patient with us for now, but we have every intention of being very transparent with our policy and ultimately will try to provide fans with options that will range from credit, to moving into new games, to refunds.”
With school out across the state, some kids are missing more than classroom time. The Twins announced Thursday that they’re donating $30,000 to The Sheridan Story, a local nonprofit, to address the problem of “food insecurity” created in part by the coronavirus health crisis.
If you’d like to donate, the Twins ask that you visit.
Like many companies have over the past week, the Twins have spent energy figuring out the best ways to keep internal teams in touch while working remotely. Just picture all the baseball research that’s flying back and forth over Slack chats this week.
A lot of work can be done remotely, of course. With the potential for lost revenue in 2020, though, some have wondered if the Twins will continue to run a big-budget front office and support staff, considering there’s no baseball to be played for a while.
St. Peter said that there’s no plan at the moment to scale down their operation in the face of this economic uncertainty.
“For the time being, we have a lot of work to do,” he said. He listed examples like financial analysis, promotional events, plus managing partners and customers, and on and on.
“While we’re working from home, we still think we’re working efficiently … Our ownership has been incredibly supportive throughout this time in really putting our people first and that will continue to be the path. Right now we’re focused on that. There are no plans that I’m aware of to reduce front office staff, at least for the time being.”