MLB’s plan to return

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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has created a plan for baseballs return. This plan has already been approved by owners and is pending player approval

By: Matthew Mendives, editor

MLB has set a plan to make its return in early July. MLB owners have already approved of the plan with player approval pending.

“Spring training” for a early July return would begin June 10. There wouldn’t be any games like in normal spring training, just workouts. Once the season starts, it will last 82 games. Teams will be playing in their home stadiums if their local government allows it. If not, teams would likely play in a nearby minor league stadium. For example, if the Yankees can’t play in Yankee stadium they would likely play in PNC field in Scranton. PNC field has dimensions comparable to MLB stadiums. The games would have no fans so seating wouldn’t be an issue.

To decrease travel, teams will only play teams close to them. For example, an AL east team like the Yankees would only play other teams in the AL east and teams in the NL east. Rosters for this season will include 30 players. Every team will use a DH this year. Since AL teams will be playing NL teams a lot, they didn’t want to put AL teams at a disadvantage by not allowing them to use DH’s in NL stadiums. Last big change is playoffs will be 14 teams instead of 10. This is to help increase league revenue.

Obviously, the biggest concern about returning to play is how player salary will work with no fan revenue. The current plan has suggested a 50-50 split between the owners and the players. ESPN thinks this will not sit well with the players union. This suggestion is very close to a salary cap, something the MLB players union is heavily against. Tony Clark, the executive director of the players union said “a system that restricts player pay based on revenue is a salary cap, period.” MLB is going to have to find some sort of middle ground to keep both sides happy if we want baseball this year.

Now that I’ve given all the facts, I will put my personal input. For the most part this is a very good plan. Allowing teams to play in their home ballparks and the division changes are really genius ideas. Some people may not like having the DH in both leagues but I’m for it. I think not letting AL teams use a DH for half of their games would put them at a huge disadvantage, but for NL teams to have to use a DH is only a minor inconvenience at worse. A 30 man rosters will allow players to get extra rest, which will hopefully help avoid injuries.

One thing I haven’t heard much about is how will player and other workers safety be ensured. They have to make sure everyone, especially older umpires and managers are safe. Sean Doolittle of the Washington Nationals agrees with me, tweeting

“Bear with me, but it feels like we’ve zoomed past the most important aspect of any MLB restart plan: health protections for players, families, staff, stadium workers and the workforce it would require to resume a season.”

Hopefully more info about player safety is released in the near future. Health is without question the biggest concern about bringing baseball back.

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