There's been a lot of negativity surrounding the negotiations between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA on finding an agreement for the 2020 season, but Boston Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke remains optimistic about the situation.
"I think it is going to happen, for one. I think we're going to play baseball this year. But when?" Roenicke told NBC Boston's Raul Martinez in a recent interview. "We're trying to get together with staff, with the front office and figure out from where we're going to train again and really, how do we go about it? It's been quite different."
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What is behind Roenicke's optimism about a 2020 season actually happening considering there's no official agreement between the league and its players at this time?
"If you read everything that's been put out there, I think there are some questions on people's minds on whether we're going to play. But I know both sides want to play," Roenicke said. "That's the feeling I have. I talk to the players, they want to play. Management wants to play. So when you have both sides that want to get back on the field, they want to get back on to play just personally but also for the country. We feel like it's important for us, it's important for other sports to start playing again. I think with everybody realizing this and wanting to get back on the field, I still think it's going to happen, even though I read a lot of negative things on the negotiations. I still believe it's going to happen."
How are the players feeling, and what has the communication been like between the coaching staff and the players since the quarantine began?
"They're anxious to get back out," Roenicke said. "They all want to play again. There's been good conversations -- most of it probably by text from me, phone calls the other day, phone calls early on. We haven't had too many Zoom calls with players, although the pitching staff gets together with (pitching coach) Dave Bush and they Zoom. The hitters are with (hitting coach) Tim Hyers. I'm trying to cover everybody. They're getting a lot of communication from us, but everybody wants to play. Obviously, ownership wants to play, the players all want to play, hopefully we can get this worked out."
Another proposal from the league was given to the MLBPA on Monday, and the initial reaction to it from the players was not good. Included in the latest proposal was a 76-game schedule with the regular season ending in late September and the postseason ending in October, per reports.
While it's still fair to question if we'll have a 2020 season at all, it's certainly refreshing to hear some positivity from Roenicke.