WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Mets played their spring training game in front of a crowd at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches with an eye toward Opening Day at Citi Field just over two weeks away.

But around the country and internationally, the coronavirus has forced some leagues to delay season openers, cancel games and bar fans from games that do take place — something Brandon Nimmo hopes doesn’t happen in the majors.

“I don’t love that possibility,’’ Nimmo said. “But obviously, I’m a player in the game and I do what I’m told to do. It’s not something I think anyone in the big leagues imagined playing in front of nobody. We enjoy the fans. They make it fun and they’re the reason we’re here and I get to have this job. I definitely want to see the fans there unless it becomes a huge health risk.’’

Robinson Cano didn’t think a lack of fans would have as significant an impact on MLB as it might in the NBA because seats aren’t as close to the field, but still couldn’t imagine it.

“It would be weird to go out with no fans,’’ Cano said. “It’s gonna be like playing in the Dominican Summer League. Nobody goes to those games. I hope that’s not the case. I think the league is gonna do what’s right.”

And as of Tuesday, there were no plans to push back the start of the season.

citi field empty mets coronavirus
AP Photo

“Maybe it would happen if [the coronavirus situation] gets worse,’’ Cano said. “It’s for the safety of everybody.”

The team met again Tuesday about what precautions to take, from the players carrying their own pens to washing hands more often.

And Nimmo added there was one other habit he would break for now.

“I’m not gonna be eating seeds at this time,’’ Nimmo said. “I’m not gonna be interacting with everyone and then touching food and putting it in my mouth. That’s a recipe for disaster.”


Rick Porcello allowed nine hits in 4 ²/₃ innings in a 7-4 win over the Astros, but said he “felt good, pitch-wise.”

Manager Luis Rojas added Porcello wanted to pitch for contact, which resulted in three double plays in the first four innings.

“He kept the ball down,’’ Rojas said. “He had more sink today than before. … He had a good feel for throwing the ball where he wanted.”