(Photo courtesy brightspotcdn.com)
Baseball is back! The Major League Baseball Players Association announced that players are returning to training in anticipation of a coronavirus-abbreviated 60-game season.
- MLB is playing only 37% of its regular 162-game season, the greatest reduction in the history of any of the four major sports in this country.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said that he anticipates the shortened season to begin on July 23 or 24. This year, the competition will revert to more regional play as teams stay closer to home to reduce travel and potential exposure. And, of course, the games are expected to be played in empty ballparks.
The plan is a result of months of arguments between the league’s 30 team owners and the players’ union. At the heart of the disagreement was how much players would be paid during the shortened season: The players’ union was willing to accept prorated pay for fewer games, but was hesitant about further pay cuts when it became clear that games would be played without spectators.
While many players — and the thousands of employees whose livelihoods depend on games — were thankful that a conclusion was finally reached, some remain concerned that even once the season begins, it might not be completed because of the unpredictable virus.
They’ll have to keep an eye out for any curveballs…