With all of major sports shutdown due to the Coronavirus, each league is now deliberating and trying to create solutions to begin again, such as the NBA and NHL, to begin at all in the case of the MLB and to begin on time with the NFL. But for the sake of time and the biggest concern being MLB, that will be the focus here.
There has been a lot of discussions between the owners, the players’ union and the commissioner’s office to discuss a possible season. However, there have been many discrepancies from how many games played to most importantly, how the players will be paid.
While it is obvious there are numerous underlying factors to establishing a resolution and an agreement, here are some proposals to get MLB back and playing, sooner rather than later.
- 81 game season, that would start on July eleventh.
- By June 21st, all players are at the home ball parks to work out and play some “spring training” games with other teams in close proximity and/or intrasquad games.
Rule Changes, Different Than Usual:
- The schedule for each team will be more streamlined to their region to lessen travel across the country.
- Universal Designated Hitter, just for 2020.
- Rosters, 26 active player roster at all times.
- Eight man taxi squad roster for the regular season, with no more than five pitchers on the taxi squad at a time. This would help with issues such as doubleheaders, injuries, taxed bullpens, etc.
- Injured players can be placed on injured list and can return after seven days. If a player goes on the Injured List, an additional player can be added to taxi. When player is eligible to return, one player must drop off of the taxi.
- Rosters: 26 active with a four player taxi squad. Those players can be all position players, all pitchers or any combo that the respective teams choose.
- Four teams from the AL, four teams from the NL. No wild card.
- The Division series: Best of three.
- The Championship series: Best of five.
- The World Series: Best of seven.
- A portion of playoff money for both owner and players goes into a pool for ballpark employees for all eight teams that make the playoffs, as a bonus for them.
- Players get paid a prorated salary. Basically, they would earn a little more than half of their salary, with them also being paid for spring training time.
- The remaining money, roughly the other half of each’s players salary will be deferred, then spread out over the next two or three years, with players receiving a percentage of remaining deferral money so as to allow teams to wisely keep payroll in order. Negotiations between teams and agents would occur to decide fair deferral amounts for each player.
- Free agency would not change for players that were set to become free agents after the 2020 season.
- During games through July, only half capacity with social distancing in place as much as possible.
- As the calendar turns to August, as long as respective states adhere to any additional Federal guidelines, full capacity allowed.
- No stadium giveaways allowed until September.
- The first one thousand people for each game will be allowed to enjoy batting practice, as long as no inclement weather.
This is, by no means, a perfect fix to getting baseball back as there would be so many other boxes that would need to be checked. This is merely a start to a true negotiation.
Major League Baseball, it’s owners and it’s players are not doing themselves any favors with this “no compromising” power struggle. Whatever happened to playing for the love of the game? Whatever happened to owners who cared about the fans, cared about winning and not so much about always lining their pockets as much as they can? For Tribe fans specifically, the lights may never come on this year at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. That’s the sad reality. Here is hoping that reality does not happen and baseball is played, in some capacity, here in 2020.