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MLB PA and MLB remain in discussion for the fate of the 2020 season

MLB PA and MLB remain in discussion for the fate of the 2020 season

In the upcoming week, the MLB PA (Players’ association) and MLB will prolong talks about starting the 2020 season. It’s not as easy as just determining a date and announcing it publicly. Baseball kicked back up earlier this week in Korea (with no fans) and in Taiwan (with limited fans). It’s pretty clear that when the season begins, it’ll be in empty ballparks, but what are some other factors and possible rule changes upcoming that both sides are to discuss?

Here are some of the aesthetics that both sides are conversing about (according to Jon Heyman from MLB Network)

  1. Limited travel and more divisional play (traditional division i.e., AL West, AL East, NL West, etc.)
  2. Expanded Rosters
  3. Taxi Squads and no x-county flights
  4. More doubleheaders and less off days
  5. Spring Training at home ballparks (would play intrasquad games)
  6. Limited or forbidden high-fives and spitting

The Risks

There’s no question that the safest thing to do from a health perspective is to cancel the season. However, it would be a financially diminishing decision leading to some significant money cuts. I would assume that testing with players will occur regularly, and any sign of sickness would immediately get the player or personnel sent home. The idea is for teams to play home games still at their ballpark, which means some major travel concerns. It’s not possible to fully quarantine a player, especially if the club goes on a road trip because the player would have to get from point A (the plane or taxi) to point B (the hotel room). Players would have to get in and out of the hotel someway (unless it’s a locker room sleepover).

One other risk is that a proposal of doubleheaders and fewer off days means a crammed season in a short period. Teams would have expanded rosters, but the season is going to put players’ stamina to the test. MLB is trying hard for each team to play at their home park, but with teams like the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Angels, Dodgers, and other teams with strict stay-at-home orders, that may turn difficult.

It’s still a sad feeling knowing that the fans, and myself, are going to miss the first played MLB game at Globe Life Field.

The Rewards

The league isn’t just letting things get back to normalcy yet. They are being cautious with distancing rules in place. I’m not quite sure if social distancing in the dugout where players may sit in the ballpark seats is an option, but I wouldn’t be surprised. In watching the KBO the past few days, the only things I noticed differently were the quiet stands, umpires wearing masks, and coaches wearing masks. It seems like the players were comfortable around each other and it truly felt baseball was back (except for the time of first pitch).

I think like both sides’ ultimate goal is to slide the game as close to normal as possible without creating further issues. From a Rangers’ perspective, the focus is on division play. However, my interpretation is that there will be games against teams out of the central and east which means NOT ALL of 2020’s games come against the west.

I want to reiterate that both sides are in the prime planning stage right now. The “hope” is early July based on the current statuses of other countries and testing availability. It may be weeks before any decision leans towards good or not, but the key is the ball is moving forward. Clubs informed players to get ready for a season, but players need that call very early due to where some of the players are. There are players in the league who are currently out of the United States which creates an issue with outside US travel bans. The positive over all of this is that both sides are talking and trying to induct a smart and beneficial plan for fans and players to enjoy baseball. However, just like everything going on with, we don’t know what to expect or how long the wait will go until. In the meantime, let’s continue to help each other and front line workers by staying safe and thanking them.

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. I talk about things. Find me on the tweeter @aplinckTX

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