MLB Has a Plan for the Season… Sort of…
While Major League Baseball and it's players were saluting mom over on MLB.com, CBSSports.com; using details reported by baseball reporter Ken Rosenthal in the Athletic as a major source, reported Major League Baseball has a plan for the 2020 season. Sort of.
According to the CBSSports.com any plan for the season has to be negotiated by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. The website says Major League Baseball has a plan it will be presenting to the MLBPA in the next couple of days.
There's bound to several rounds of tweaks, changes and concessions before a plan is ready to go. Of course, owners will need to be on board as well, with whatever changes and tweaks the players want. So what the plan looks like after several rounds of back and forth could be very different than what CBSSports.com and The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal are reporting today.
Rosenthal reported some general parameters of the plan on Saturday:
- The season would start in early July and consist of 80 games.
- Teams would only face division rivals and the same geographic division in the other league to keep games regional.
- Teams will open in as many home parks as possible.
- An expanded playoff format with seven teams making the playoffs.
CBSSports.com also lays out some of challenges facing Major League Baseball right now, and as the season progresses. The first challenge, owners want ballplayers to take a cut in salary to account for lost revenue, especially if games are played without fans. That won't happen according to the MLBPA.
Season plans for all teams will have to be flexible. If there's a COVID-19 outbreak in a city, that city's team may need to play it's home games somewhere else. Then there's the Blue Jays. Anyone traveling to Canada is subject to a fourteen day quarantine. So there's a travel hurdle for teams traveling to Canada.
Sitting here a month after the season should have started I think it's a pretty good plan. I'd like to see baseball this season. And if it's going to happen, players, owners and Major League Baseball need to get the show on the road before it's too late. Because if games that count aren't being played by Independence Day, it could be too late to have any kind of season.
It's disappointing to see very well paid players and wealthy sports team owners squabbling about salaries. It looks bad to the rest of us. If you make the "show" as a player, even one who is unknown and rides the bench more than you play, you're making a minimum of $563,500 dollars according to Baseball Reference. Most are making more than this. Major League Baseball couldn't play an inning this season and most players and owners wouldn't be hurting. So let's not have this derail the plan when many of the sport's fans, and Americans in general, may be hurting financially.
Additionally if teams are only playing their own division, and the other league from the same division, it may mean more games that count against rivals. As someone whose a fan of both the Royals and Cubs, I like the geographic rivalries the heartland teams in the Central will have: Cubs, Royals, Cardinals, Brewers, White Sox, and even the Twins. The Central Division teams from both leagues east of the heartland could make for exciting baseball for those teams' fans too: Pirates, Tigers, Indians and the Reds.
I think it's an exciting plan. All baseball has to do is get everyone on board. And we need to continue making strides at getting the coronavirus in check. We do those things and I think we'll hear an umpire shout "play ball" on July 4, if not earlier.
When the baseball season gets underway you can catch the St. Louis Cardinals on the Cardinals home for baseball in Sedalia KSIS 1050.