Since the day that Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus and the NBA shut down, sports fans everywhere have been impatiently waiting for the fun to return. The NBA is set to show up in Orlando in the coming weeks, and we now know that Major League Baseball is on its way back as well.
Opening Day: July 23 or 24— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 24, 2020
Season: 60 games
Location: Home ballparks
Health and safety: "MLB's foremost priorities" pic.twitter.com/PWOu9GolDh
Players are set to report for training on July 1st with opening day taking place on July 23rd or 24th. Games will be played in home ballparks, and health and safety are said to be the priority of both Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association.
Some interesting rules were proposed during negotiations, including implementation of the designated hitter rule in both leagues, expanded playoffs, and the possibility of pitchers keeping wet rags on the mound in lieu of licking their fingers. Most of that makes sense, but things can get sketchy when pitchers have control of a foreign substance on the mound.
If you had asked me a month, or even a week, ago, I would have bet against baseball happening. And there are many players still unhappy about the setup. Trever Bauer of the Cincinnati Reds has been vocal throughout this process, and actually seems tame now that a deal is in place. He still has questions, though.
So we gave up shares of playoff money, eliminating the qualifying offer for 2021, paycheck advance forgiveness, Covid 19 protections, and protection for non guaranteed arb contracts for next year in order to hold on to our right to file a grievance...— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) June 23, 2020
Bauer tweeted, “So we gave up shares of playoff money, eliminating the qualifying offer for 2021, paycheck advance forgiveness, COVID-19 protections, and protection for non guaranteed arb (arbitration) contracts for next year in order to hold on to our right to file a grievance...”
Regardless, baseball is on the way assuming no more surprises or massive outbreaks arise. And for many, a 60 game season should be much easier to follow than the normal 162 game marathon.