MLB Proposal to Return to Action Would Shorten Season to Around 80 Games
The proposal would also regionalize the schedule to reduce travel
Major League Baseball is going full speed ahead on its plan to return to action this summer, with some radical changes in store for the 2020 regular season. According to The Athletic, MLB will propose a shortened season — said to be around 80 games, though that is not finalized — that would see teams play only opponents in their division, as well as the corresponding set of teams from the opposite league.
The Athletic’s report makes it clear that nothing is official yet, but the league will reportedly pitch the proposal to owners on a conference call on Monday. If approved, the league would then propose it to the players’ union on Tuesday, which would clear the way to return to action as soon as possible.
The proposal would see teams preferably play their games at their home parks, though if that is not possible for whatever reason, they could also play at spring training stadiums or in other teams’ home parks. The unique case of the Toronto Blue Jays would pose a different problem, as non-essential travel to Canada is still restricted, and those entering the country are mandated to undergo a two-week quarantine.
The other big change in the proposal has to do with player pay. Players already agreed to prorate salaries for a shortened season, but MLB is said to be ready to propose a bigger cut in salaries, given the lack of fans in attendance.
Though the proposal is still in the planning stages, there is now a firm plan for how to bring baseball back in a controlled environment. Whether it gets approved or not is yet to be seen — The Athletic’s report cites the payment issue as the biggest hurdle — but there’s one thing no longer in doubt: MLB plans to return this season in some form.
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