Monday night opened with frustrating news as the Players Association rejected MLB’s latest proposal. However, the league’s owners quickly came together and determined that they will still hold a season despite the suspension of negotiations.
All 30 MLB owners unanimously voted to proceed with the 2020 season, which comes as a slight surprise considering recent reports suggested roughly one-quarter of the league’s owners opposed a season under the current circumstances.
In a thrilling turn of events, baseball will be returning soon. In fact, the beginning of play could happen within the next week-and-a-half as the league is preparing to begin its second stint of Spring Training no later than July 1. With this in mind, the league informed the Players Association that they have less than 24 hours to verify that “players will be able to report to camp within seven days,” according to their statement.
In addition to that request, the league must confirm with the Players Association that they have agreed to a recently-submitted operating manual that includes various health and safety protocols.
As for the season length, the league hopes to play a complete 60-game campaign with expanded playoffs, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Source: Owners plan to implement 60-game season once union responds to two questions posed in statement. https://t.co/6Erj1jLpfK— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 23, 2020
It’s worth noting that there is still plenty of information to sort through. After all, it’s not a lock that the MLBPA will agree to the protocols. There were rumors about varying opinions on this front in the past and this will be a large hurdle to cross. Unlike the season negotiations, the protocols must be agreed upon. Manfred does not hold superiority in the protocol negotiation department, so the two sides must agree.
However, the dominoes should continue to fall. MLB deciding to halt negotiations and use their authority was a decision that had to be made in order to put legitimacy behind the idea of playing baseball in 2020.
The ball is rolling and it’s quite possible that baseball returns next week.