There’s yet another plan to hopefully have a 2020 Major League Baseball season. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe said in a May 11 story that MLB wants an 82-game schedule that will start around the 4th of July weekend. Not surprisingly, there are all kinds of problems that would have to be dealt with before the season could be finalized.
Most teams would be able to use their own ballparks, though without fans in attendance. However, there are some places where this may not be possible due to local coronavirus rules. In that case, other sites, such as spring training sites or neutral sites, may have to be used.
As an example, given travel restrictions to Canada, the Toronto Blue Jays could play their home games at their spring training home in Dunedin, Fla.
On May 14. Commissioner Rob Manfred told CNN he’s been in contact with the 18 governors who have MLB teams in their states, and all are hopeful their teams would be able to use their own ballparks.
To get ready for the shortened season, “spring training” would be held for two weeks in June.
In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey has lifted the ban on professional sports, which means the Arizona Diamondbacks will use Chase Field. They may have company, however, as USA Today reports some teams may not be able to use their home fields due to local regulations.
They could use some of the many spring training sites in the Phoenix area, but anyone who remembers the old Phoenix Firebirds would know why even night games would not be a good idea.
Another provision of the plan would be that each team will play only the teams in their league’s regional division, as this would cut down on travel time and expenses. Some teams may even travel by bus. For the D-Backs, that would mean the Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants, the San Diego Padres, and the Colorado Rockies. However, if some teams have to use venues away from their home cities, this would really mess up this regional alignment.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind adding the Oakland A’s, Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels to the D-Backs’ region. That would create an even number of teams. Increase the number of games to 84, and they could play each other 12 times.
The plan calls for an expanded playoffs with the World Series in late October. MLB doesn’t want to go any further than that because there are fears the coronavirus could resurge in the late fall.
Two of the major obstacles to this plan would be questions of how everyone would get tested for the virus. There are also questions of how revenue would be split and how much the players would get paid.
The franchises will be taking a huge hit on revenue. While there will be television and radio broadcasting revenue, MLB franchises still make a lot of revenue from ticket sales, concessions and parking.
Some players have said they expect to be fully paid even with the shortened season and no fans in the stands.
I think these players are being incredibly selfish. Many of their fans have lost their jobs or seen their wages cut because of the coronavirus. The least they could do is take pay cuts themselves to ensure there is a 2020 season. If nothing else, that would show they care about the hardships many of their fans are facing.
Money is the last thing any professional athlete should be haggling over right now.
Will there be a 2020 baseball season? I’m still hopeful, but I think we’re running out of time. The door is still open, but it’s closing quickly. MLB will have to act soon to have a season this year.