5:08pm: Although NPB had been pushing for an April 24 start, Sports Nippon in Japan reports that league officials are now questioning whether that’s a viable target date (English-language link via Tokyo-based baseball journalist Jim Allen). Half of the league’s team presidents met this morning and acknowledged that a later date is now likely necessary, although a specific timeframe has yet to be agreed upon. Allen notes that league officials have run simulations of scenarios that include May 8 and May 15 starts to the season.
Meanwhile, in a full column for Yonhap, Yoo reports that the KBO is contemplating weekly Monday doubleheaders as the league mulls season lengths of 124 games, 117 games and 108 games (all declines from the traditional 144-game length). Major League Baseball, of course, has discussed similar use of frequent doubleheaders in an effort to maximize the number of games possible in a shortened season of its own.
9:15am: With COVID-19 raging in the United States, it’s hard not to glance longingly across the Pacific. In Korea and Japan, authorities have seemingly gained control over the spread of the virus — so much so that their highly respected baseball leagues are working toward a resumption of play.
That’s not to say the effort is without challenges.