Baseball is (almost) back.
It was a messy, rough, disgusting two-month negotiation between the MLBPA and the MLB. Both sides agreed that they did not agree on proportional salaries, and Rob Manfred wanted to schedule 60 games for the 2020 season.
All in all, a month-long “Will-They-Will-They” story ends, which is suitable for a terrible TV sitcom and shows a lot of public bitterness on both sides. If Manfred prescribes a season, there will be a major league baseball in 2020, unless something crazy happens by July 29. This is a great opportunity this year.
There are still many logistical hurdles, including travel, accommodation and travel restrictions, that still affect different states and two neighboring countries.
MORE: What’s next while we’re waiting for an MLBPA vote?
When does the MLB season start in 2020?
Date of training report in spring (summer): July 1Regular start of the season: 24th July
The MLB opening day 2020 is scheduled for July 24th. Players are expected to register for spring training (summer training) by July 1, provided players agree to this date and health and safety protocols by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23.
MLB 2020 schedule: how many games will they play?
As implemented by Rob Manfred, the 2020 MLB season will be 60 games long (with the exception of any interruptions for any reason) and will span three divisions. Details of the schedule are currently unknown. However, since the departments are geographically oriented, traveling between series and cities shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
MLB health and safety protocol
MLB sent a 67-page proposal to the MLBPA in May. The details need to be worked out – and the MLBPA will vote on June 23 – but some of the known facts from this proposal are as follows:
Social distance (six feet) between non-game players is encouraged. As in, players and staff must sit far apart in the stands. No spitting, no chewing tobacco, no seeds, no general rudeness, which are the hallmarks of the players. Balls used in the game and touched by multiple players are removed from the game.Players are tested for corona virus during the week and the temperature is measured once a day. Should a positive test take place, the player is quarantined and needs two negative tests to return to the field.
All in all, it seems pretty difficult to enforce some of these rules, but hey, at least they try. (On paper.)
New MLB departments for 2020
There is a three-part proposal for the 2020 season that is based on geography and is intended to reduce travel expenses for the teams. The schedule will not be announced until the official departments are set. However, expect them to look something like this based on the existing AL and NL circuits:
Baltimore OriolesBoston Red SoxNew York YankeesNew York MetsPhiladelphia PhilliesTampa Bay RaysMiami MarlinsToronto Blue JaysWashington NationalsAtlanta Braves
Chicago White SoxChicago CubsPittsburgh PiratesMilwaukee BrewersCincinnati RedsCleveland IndiansSt. Louis CardinalsMinnesota TwinsKansas City RoyalsDetroit Tigers
Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles AngelsOakland A’s Arizona DiamondbacksSan Francisco GiantsSeattle MarinersTexas RangersHouston AstrosColorado RockiesSan Diego Padres
Are fans admitted to MLB games?
On June 4, Evan Grant from the Dallas Morning News reported that MLB would delay local governments whether fans are allowed to play or not. That would be a good sign for states like Texas, which are reopening despite the increasing number of coronavirus cases and currently allow a stadium capacity of up to 50 percent.
Speculatively, it is difficult to imagine fans in MLB stadiums on a larger scale this season, considering that the coronavirus pandemic is not currently included in most states.
What happened between MLB and MLBPA?
Take a deep breath. It is correct to say that both sides have fought over money matters, but if you simply blame the players for the lack of a long season, it is quite inaccurate.
So the situation collapsed:
In March, MLB and MLBPA agreed on a deal in which players would receive their full pro rata salaries throughout the season, regardless of the length of the games played. The agreement to pay players these salaries was reportedly dependent on whether fans would be in the stands or not. As soon as it became clear that it would be unsafe to play games with crowds, the struggles between the two sides began.
With the owners losing a bit of sales because they don’t have ticket and concession sales, the MLB front offices wanted the players to get higher payouts for the duration of the season: The MLB owners wanted the players to pay for the number of games played receive less than pro rata salaries. As they increased the number of games in various offerings, their request that players play for less than their prorated wages was mocked by the MLBPA.
After many floats and MLB ownership did not meet the players’ salary requirements, the MLBPA finally threw down the gauntlet: After one of the last failed attempts at a MLB deal, the players gave Rob Manfred an “when and where” ultimatum, im Essentially request that the commissioner impose a season.
If you want to blame the players if they don’t make a deal, Lee Corso said, not so quickly, my friend.
The reason for the ultimatum is twofold; First, the players were and were ready to play. After all, they were the ones who asked for the longest possible season, including a proposal for 114 games at one point.
The second reason: the players were tired of being understaffed by the property they believed to be maliciously negotiating. Asking Manfred to impose a season was one way to gain some influence on the complaints that they might make after the start of a season (which they will do). The fact that the owners opposed the idea of wanting a longer season should be enough evidence for anyone involved that the players weren’t wrong here. If you add that MLB’s last proposal asked its players to waive the right to lodge a complaint, it should prove that they do
In the end, the owners got exactly what they wanted after dribbling the clock for a month: the players look like the bad guys, they get a short season with 37 percent salaries for the players and they can get their books for the MLBPA keep closed.
All of this is really a forerunner of the impending labor dispute once the current CBA expires after the 2021 season. Hopefully a deal will be made to have a 2022 season.
MLB Playoffs 2020
As MLB prescribes a season, extended playoffs for 2020 and 2021 are off the table. The normal 10-team format is currently being introduced after the end of the regular season.