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Aviators, Triple-A baseball delay season by about a month

Updated March 2, 2021 - 9:06 pm

Aviators president Don Logan was having a nice day until he received the memo Tuesday afternoon from Major League Baseball.

Then his mood changed.

Instead of planning for an April 8 opening for the Aviators, their season — and that of the rest of Triple-A baseball — will be delayed about a month.

This on top of losing all of last season to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Logan said he thought the Aviators were rebounding after breaking attendance records two years ago in their new stadium, Las Vegas Ballpark. Now he hopes the club’s supporters remain enthusiastic about having to wait until May 6 when the Aviators open at home against Sacramento.

“Everybody was so excited after losing last year that we were going to get to play,” Logan said. “The number of calls, the excitement people were calling with, I think we were picking right back up where we would’ve last year. At some point, not just baseball, but everybody’s going to have to understand it’s the new normal. We’re going to have to be careful, but we’re going to have to get back to doing what we do.”

He said MLB, in its reasoning for the delay, had concerns about keeping players healthy because Triple-A teams fly commercially. The later start also provides the opportunity for more of the public to be vaccinated.

Logan didn’t have information on whether the season would be shortened from the 142-game schedule that was announced Feb. 18.

“The younger players need to play,” Logan said. “That’s the whole point of player development. The only way they get better, the only way they perfect their craft is by playing meaningful, competitive games.”

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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