Sportress of Blogitude

Pirates sanitize facility amid MLB forming coronavirus task force

The Pittsburgh Pirates organization on Tuesday sanitized its entire spring training facility in Bradenton, Fla., out of “an overabundance of caution,” per a report from Jeff Passan of ESPN.

The news of the Pirates’ actions comes amid the news that Major League Baseball has formed an internal task force to address concerns over the developing coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

The Pirates’ decision to deep clean the team’s spring training facilities — which included using sanitizing machines in the clubhouse, offices, press box, suites, dugouts and concession stands — went above and beyond MLB’s current recommendations.

“In an effort to be as proactive as possible and perhaps in an overabundance of caution, we took advantage of our scheduled off day to professionally sanitize and deep clean LECOM Park,” said Brian Warecki, the Pirates’ vice president of communications. “We will continue to actively consider other efforts that we can implement to help maintain a healthy environment for our fans, players and staff.”

There has been no confirmation that the Pirates’ sanitation efforts were inspired by the news that a man in Manatee County — which counts Bradenton as its largest city — has been designated as a “presumptive positive” for contracting the coronavirus.

MLB issued a memo to all 30 teams Tuesday laying out how it is “developing recommendations to mitigate the spread of coronavirus at ballparks” that “address proper hygiene, cleaning methods for the clubhouse and training room, and supplies that Clubs may seek to purchase.”  

The league, however, has no plans in place to postpone or cancel any games at this point in time.

As of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 60 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. with six deaths and 12 states reporting cases. There have been 90,000 cases and 3,000 deaths worldwide.