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MLB Owners Approve Plan to Play, Pending MLBPA Approval

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We learned from Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic that Major League Baseball owners would meet to discuss a plan to resume play.  That meeting occurred today, and a big first step has been taken.  According to many published reports, including Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, Major League Baseball's owners have approved a plan that would lead to the resumption of play in 2020, pending the Major League Baseball Player's Association's approval.

Among the items in Blum's report:

  • The designated hitter will be universal in 2020
  • Teams will play in home ball parks with no fans, but pivot to Spring Training sites, if necessary should a geographical area be at risk for a COVID-19 outbreak
  • Spring Training would resume in mid-June
  • There will be 82 regular season games played
  • Games would be played regionally (NL East vs. AL East, for example)
  • Playoffs will expand to 14 teams
  • The Toronto Blue Jays might have to play out of Dunedin, Florida

The biggest challenge to the proposal, however, would be what the players agree to.

According to the Associated Press report, baseball owners are proposing a 50-50 revenue split.

Upon the original agreement with the Players Association, MLB would have paid players on a pro-rated basis.  In other words, 81 games of a 162-game season would have been 50% salary.  But, without fans in the stands, this could be a tricky proposition.

Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, who reported many of the above aspects of the plan prior to the reports today, Tweeted that there would be a meeting with the Major League Baseball Players Association tomorrow to discuss the proposal.

Should they agree, we may be headed towards baseball.

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