There still are plenty of hurdles before MLB makes its long-awaited return, but there's reason to be optimistic as the league appears to have a plan in place for 2020.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Saturday that MLB will discuss its plans for the 2020 season in a conference call with owners Monday. If approved, the league will present the plan to the players' union Tuesday.
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The details of the plan, which are subject to change, are as follows:
- The season would begin in early July and have approximately 80 games.
- Teams would face opponents only from their own division and the same geographic division in the opposite league. That means the Red Sox would only face the American League East (Yankees, Rays, Orioles, Blue Jays) and National League East (Mets, Nationals, Phillies, Marlins, Braves).
- Teams would open in as many home ballparks as possible. Alternatives would be spring training parks or nearby MLB stadiums.
- Expanded playoffs. Seven teams from each of the three leagues would qualify for the postseason (an increase from the usual five). Teams with the best record in each division would receive a bye.
- Since games would be played without fans for the foreseeable future, players would be asked to accept a further reduction in pay, most likely by agreeing to a set percentage of revenues for this season only.
Obviously, these significant changes would take some getting used to. But at this point, any safe plan to bring baseball back into our lives is welcomed.
For more details on MLB's potential July return, check out Rosenthal's full report here.