Ladies and gentlemen, get your peanuts and ‘Caucasian Jacks’ ready because baseball is back!
The news broke Monday night the players and owners were done acting like children and ready to make a deal. MLB owners voted unanimously to proceed under the terms agreed upon under the March 26 agreement.
Upon this vote, Commissioner Rob Manfred inquired of the MLBPA if they would be ready to report by July 1. This news comes after reports that the MLBPA voted down the league’s most recent 60-game proposal.
What Does the March 26 Agreement Include?
Season Length: 60 Games.
Opening Day: July 24.
Spring Training Vol. 2: July 1.
Playoff Teams: 10.
Player Salary: Full Pro Rata.
With a 60-game season this equals around 37 percent of their full-season salary as long as the abbreviated season is completed. The biggest thing that will come into play will be how players handle injuries.
Something like a hamstring pull can keep a player out for 4-6 weeks. That is nearly the entire truncated season.
So the question is will guys just rub some dirt on it or be extra cautious and shut it down till next February? One good thing is when it comes to older pitchers.
The typical strategy is these guys hold a little back for the stretch run (All-Star Break through Playoffs). However, the stretch run is upon us so need to hold anything back.
It’s full sail.
So What’s Next?
Well there is a lot to figure out by July 24. Things such as roster sizes, taxi-squads, on-field rule changes, and COVID-19 policy. One on-field change we know for sure is being implemented relates to extra innings.
MLB will be implementing the minor league rule that puts a runner on second to start every extra half inning. With Manfred shutting down Arizona and Florida facilities for COVID cleanings players will report to their home cities.
As for COVID protocol for the season, it consist of a 67-page proposal that I am definitely not reading (I have a life).
So here are the highlights that someones else pulled out:
- Players and team personnel not in the game at the moment of play will be in the stands with six feet of separation.
- No high-fives, fist bumps, or hugs.
- No spitting, chewing tobacco, or sunflower seeds.
- A ball will be thrown out after it has been touched by multiple players.
- Postgame showers and the use of taxis and ride-shares will be discouraged.
- Temperature checks multiple times a day and COVID tests multiple times a week.
- A positive test will result in a two-week quarantine requiring two negative tests to be cleared.
It sounds like this whole thing is going to be completely FUBAR. But hey, we don’t have to deal with it and we get the MLB back.
So let’s countdown the days till we finally get to hear those magic words: “Play Ball!”