Major League Baseball owners gave the go-ahead Monday to making a proposal to the players’ union about starting the 2020 season around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans.
Spring training could start in early to mid-June, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the plan were not announced.
MLB officials are slated to make a presentation to the union on Tuesday. An agreement with the players’ association is needed, and talks are expected to be difficult — especially over a proposal for a revenue split that would be unprecedented for baseball.
Each team would play about 82 regular-season games: against opponents in its own division plus interleague matchups limited to AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central and AL West vs. NL West. Postseason play would be expanded from 10 clubs to 14 by doubling wild cards in each league to four. And no doubt, the All -Star game slated for July 14 in Dodger stadium, would be called off.
As we all are aware the delay has been because of COVID-19 and some players are showing some concern. “Bear with me, but it feels like we’ve zoomed past the most important aspect of any MLB restart plan: health protections for players, families, staff, stadium workers and the workforce it would require to resume a season,” Washington pitcher Sean Doolittle tweeted. “What’s the plan to ethically acquire enough tests? What’s the protocol if a player, staff member, or worker contracts the virus?”
“We’ll see where we will be in July,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom, whose state is the home of five MLB clubs and who has talked with baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred. “We certainly look forward to Major League Baseball and all sports resuming. But again, the question is when and that will be determined on the basis of public health and public safety and the spread of this virus.”
There are so many issues to be resolved, from health issues and safety precautions, player’s salaries and in some cases contract negotiations, location of games, as some teams may not be able to play in their home stadiums due to restrictions, etc. There are even rumors that some players would like to see the 2020 season canceled. I think we will be very fortunate if we have a 2020 season, but I will keep my fingers crossed.
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