The MLB league office and the Players Association will discuss a potential proposal to bring baseball back with an 80-game schedule.
It appears Major League Baseball is closer to getting back onto the field than it has been since the league office shutdown Spring Training in the wake of the coronavirus threat. According to several sources, including CBS Sports, a proposal for a shortened season could be presented early this week which would call for an 80-game MLB season and an expanded playoff system.
For the Miami Marlins, the idea of playing baseball once again and getting back to the ballpark is something they have been waiting for since March 13.
As Mike Axisa and R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports wrote, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred could reach out to teams as early as Monday. The idea of players being back on the ball fields in June and playing games that have meaning in July is a real possibility.
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"“It’ll take some time — there will be proposals and counter-proposals and counter-counter-proposals, and maybe some animosity as well — but the process will begin soon,” they wrote. “CBS Sports HQ’s Jim Bowden confirmed that the league will meet Monday to discuss a proposal, with MLB expected to submit a plan to the union on Tuesday. Joel Sherman of the New York Post adds that representatives from each team will also conduct a Monday conference call with commissioner Rob Manfred.”"
The Marlins were 12-6-2 in Spring Training before all baseball operations were shut down in Jupiter, Florida, and their home base in Miami. This was a Spring of hope for Miami – a team that looked ready to turn the corner and show the progress of two years of rebuilding a baseball team from the foundation up.
Team CEO Derek Jeter and Michael Hill, president of baseball operations, have been in contact with the league office during the work stoppage, waiting for word that players could return to practice and prepare for the 2020 – no matter how long or short that might be.
As R.J. Anderson wrote in another story, there are issues the league office and the players associate would have to work through, which includes testing, health standards, contingency plans, and logistics based on how games will be played and if there will be realignment.
The thought is a proposal for realignment may happen. If so, teams who play spring training games in Arizona and Florida will continue to play against teams in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. Another proposal will be for divisional play or three divisions consisting of 10 teams each.
"“It stands to reason that at some point, MLB will have to face a reality wherein a player has contracted the coronavirus,” Anderson writes. “What happens then — does the league quarantine that player, and hope for the best? Will play be suspended? Will the season be canceled?”"
The health and safety of everyone involved is still the most important part of the discussion.
"“MLB needs to be able to test the players, the coaches, the front office executives, and any number of other, largely anonymous groups of people — the hotel workers, the clubhouse workers, and so on — who are necessary in order for a baseball season to occur.,” Anderson adds."