Only a week ago, the chances of a 2020 MLB season were slim to none. The MLB and the Player’s Association refused to cooperate with each other and after yet another proposal fell through. But on Tuesday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that baseball is back.
The new 2020 season will be the shortest since 1878, with each team only playing 60 games. “Spring” Training will begin on July 1st, with the regular season commencing on July 23rd. The decision to implement the shortened season was voted on unanimously by MLB owners. The Player’s Association said in a statement, quite curtly, “All remaining issues have been resolved and Players are reporting to training camps.”
Despite losing 63% of the season, this development has been largely celebrated by baseball fans and the sporting world, as a whole. A recent poll showed that 77% of baseball fans are supportive of the return to baseball.
Concerns among detractors may be that the loss of the majority of the season damages integrity of the sport and the high risk of players and staff contracting COVID-19 is not worth the short-term gain.
And these concerns are very real. Over the last week, the Phillies shut down their Florida training center after 12 members of the organization, including 7 players, tested positive for coronavirus. The MLB closed down all remaining training camps soon after.
The biggest issue moving forward will be how the league handles positive cases that are guaranteed to pop up as the new season commences. The MLB shared their plan to combat the spread and how they will keep players and personnel safe. Check it all out in the list below.
Families and those living with players and staff will also receive routine testing.
It's not an issue of if but when.
Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be sent home and/or quarantined until they test negative.
That's half of the game right there.
Additionally, no fraternizing with the opposing team before or after the game.
Most, if not all teams, are expected to have at least one player test positive during this season.
Every team will have dedicated COVID-19 testing and quarantine areas for those who exhibit symptoms.
Anyone with a history of medical issues will be accommodated with separate entrances, parking, and changing areas, among others.