Baseball is back!
Major League Baseball owners came to an agreement unanimously to proceed with the 2020 MLB Season. The season will be reducing to 60 games for the season, making every game matter like if it was a playoff game.
🗣 BASEBALL IS BACK!
The MLBPA has agreed to play a 60-game regular season in 2020 that ends at the end of September https://t.co/MI41TmjptX
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 23, 2020
While this deal does have some flaws and imperfections there are components to it that help answer the main question around when Opening Day will be.
2020 SEASON FACTS:
𝗜𝗧'𝗦 𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗘. pic.twitter.com/akxdBsbxen
— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 24, 2020
- Number of games: 60 games
- Opening Day: Around July 24
- Spring Training: July 1 — MLB asked the MLBPA on Monday whether players will be able to report to training in their respective cities within seven days, by July 1st.
- Number of teams in playoffs: 10
- Salary structure: Full pro rata, which for 60 games means that players will earn around 37% of their full-season salary as long as the truncated schedule is completed.
The biggest concern of course is the health of the players. Players will need to be in top form. Trainers will need to engage deeper with their players to ensure that they are in top shape.
The players will certainly have to push themselves. Not to mention, they’ll have to be extra cautious while thinking of the 2021 season. Maybe even their futures going forward too.
On the flip side though, pitchers will not have to hold anything back for the stretch run considering they’ll start right away. So, if a player is in excellent shape, we will certainly be seeing some upcoming talent or the best of some of them too.
HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOL
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) June 24, 2020
While it is of no news that there have been players testing positive for COVID-19 around the league, the MLB in its agreement details a very specific health protocol.
The protocol tries to cover every little loose end possible. But, there’s still some more to do for sure. However, here’s a first look at what that protocol looks like so far:
• Players and other team personnel not participating in the game would sit in the stands, separated by at least six feet. They would apply the same distancing standards to the national anthem.
• Players will be screened for temperature multiple times per day and tested for coronavirus multiple times per week. Anyone testing positive will be immediately quarantined. Two negative tests will be required for a possible return.
• Balls will be thrown out once it has been touched by multiple players.
• A minimal distance between baserunners, fielders, coaches and umpires on the field will be encouraged as much as possible.
There’s also other things such as spitting, chewing tobacco or sunflowers seeds that can’t be done either. No high fives, hugs or fist bumps allowed either.
Some of the things that need to be working out would be players testing positive prior to a game. The same would go for umpires testing positive. The league is proactively having replacements for some umpires, if they do test positive.
Like I said, while the deal has some major areas that need improvement especially around the health of both umpires and players, this is very exciting to see that the MLB will be back and kind of cool to see a 60-game season.
It will certainly feel more of like a playoff, who doesn’t love a playoff!
~Diego Galvis (@Diego_TheDJ)