Coronavirus 2020 and the Spanish Flu of 1918

Nearly 100 years ago, the Spanish Flu was believed to be first identified in the Spring of 1918 through the military. It spread worldwide from 1918-1919 as it hit the USA with 675,000 deaths and over 500 million worldwide. It killed so many people because back then they didn't have a vaccine to protect the infection as well as no antibiotics to cure secondary infections. Many doctors and physicians went to work during World War 1 as it was harder to find cures at the time as well. The baseball season started on April 11 and was cut short due to players being drafted to go fight in WW1 and in the end, the Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago Cubs in 4 games in the World Series. The Spanish Flu took the lives of Cy Swain, Larry Chappell, Leo McGraw, Harry Glenn, Dave Roth, and minor league pitcher Harry Acton. Another casualty of the illness was longtime umpire, Silk O’Loughlin who umpired in the MLB from 1902-1918 including the 1917 World Series.

Now in 2020, commissioner Rob Manfred decided to cancel Spring Training two weeks in and pushed back the start of Opening Day. The league has yet to decide on a date when baseball can get going again, but they did come to an agreement last week on multiple issues.

A couple minor leaguers in the Yankees organization (who will not be named) tested positive for the virus. A few Chicago Cubs employees also tested positive, there have been no deaths reported to the MLB office as of late.

-draft picks can earn up to $100,000 of bonus money

-draft picks and international slots may not be traded

-if a player is suspended it will carry into this season and not further if the 2020 season is canceled

-players on the active or injured list will get a full year of service time (186 days). A player's service time will be pro-rated in the event of a shortened season. So if there's a 50 game season, and active for 25 days the active player will get half a year of service. If no season at all, then the player will get the number of days they played during the 2019 season.

-The MLB amateur draft has gone down to 5 rounds but will the MLB could change that.

-signing bonuses will be given out upfront and receive 10% now and 45% over the next two years.

-such players Mookie Betts (traded to LAD over Winter), JR Realmuto and George Springer will get their service time and enter free agency if a season doesn't take place at all. But Matt Chapman and Gleyber Torres will stay on pace for arbitration for the first time.

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