It’s official. MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to a sixty game season for 2020. After all the accusations and acrimony, we will have baseball this year. Spring (or Summer) training starts July 1. Opening Day is set for either 23 or 24 July. Needless to say, because of the delay, the Covid-19 Pandemic and the bad feelings all around the negotiations, this is going to be unlike any other Major League Baseball season. In fact, I would argue it would be a stretch to call this a “Major League Baseball season.” It’s more of a farce really and one wonders why even bother at this stage of the year and with so many players already testing positive for the virus as the USA is in the middle of a spike in infections.
There will be no fans in attendance at parks.
The players will be getting their fully prorated salaries, a big issue in the negotiations and a Pyrrhic victory for the players when you consider they lost two months in the negotiations because the owners played hardball. It kind of makes you think the owners played it this way all along to save money and still say they had a season.
Here are some of the caveats for MLB in 2020:
- Teams will play their four divisional opponents 10 times and each of the five inter-league opponents in the same geographical area four games apiece.
- The National League will use a designated hitter.
- In extra innings, teams will begin with a runner on second base.
- The trade deadline will be Aug. 31, less than a month before the regular season is scheduled to end
- Rosters will start at 30 men for the first two weeks, then go to 28 for the next two weeks and stay at 26 for the remainder of the season.
- Teams will have a taxi squad that allows them to have as many as 60 players available to play in major league games.
- There will be a special COVID-19 injured list with no minimum or maximum length of time spent on it, while standard injured list stints will be for 10 days, and the typical 60-day stint will instead be for 45 days.
I don’t know where to begin! A runner on second base to start extra innings? Are you kidding me? A DH in the National League? Yuck!
There are many Corona Virus protocols in place and players can opt out of games or the season if they want to. Here is a handy dandy FAQ published by Major League Baseball.
For MLB and Commissioner Rob Manfred, this is nothing short of a travesty and even if the Giants win this year’s World Series no serious fan can claim the same pride of championship glory as in other full seasons.
Happy St. John the Baptist Feast Day!