There’s no guarantee we will have a 2020 Major League Baseball season, at least according to comments made by commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday.
But if MLB and the players union do come to terms for an abbreviated campaign, they should consider not playing into October, says Dr. Fauci, the nation’s top coronavirus expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“If the question is time, I would try to keep it in the core summer months and end it not with the way we play the World Series, until the end of October when it’s cold,” Fauci told The Los Angeles Times. “I would avoid that.”
The league and union have been squabbling over financials for a potential season for two months. MLB holds the position of not wanting to play past October, both due to a potential second wave of the virus and their lucrative postseason TV deals — MLB’s biggest financial motivation for playing in 2020.
For those reasons, they shot down one of the union’s proposals, which entailed scheduling the postseason in November. MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem further expressed those concerns in a Monday letter to union labor attorney Bruce Meyer.
At least 20 states have seen a recent surge in coronavirus cases, including those home to MLB teams — Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and Florida. Several MLB players and coaches have reportedly tested positive for the virus.
COVID-19 deaths are steadily rising and are projected to have a sharp uptick in October. Fauci said there’s “less of an issue” playing in late July and in August and September.
“The likelihood is that, if you stick to the core summer months, you are better off, even though there is no guarantee,” he said. … “If you look at the kinds of things that could happen, there’s no guarantee of anything. You would want to do it at a time when there isn’t the overlap between influenza and the possibility of a fall second wave.”Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs easily on your device.