The 2020 MLB season could begin in less than eight weeks.
According to the Associated Press, MLB owners are set to make a proposal to the players union that could allow the season to start around the Fourth of July weekend without fans in attendance. It’s tough to imagine anything more American than professional baseball starting its season during a pandemic on the Fourth of July; it would be absolutely glorious.
MLB officials are set to make a presentation to the union on Tuesday.
Major League Baseball owners gave the go-ahead Monday to making a proposal to the players’ union that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans, a plan that envisioned expanding the designated hitter to the National League for 2020.
Each team would play about 82 regular-season games: against opponents in its own division plus interleague matchups limited to AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central and AL West vs. NL West.
While there are literally dozens of moving parts surrounding the start of the season, one interesting note that the AP’s report addresses are player’s salaries. Not having fans at games could cause some problems when it comes to revenue, obviously.
Teams will propose that players receive the percentage of their 2020 salaries based on a 50-50 split of revenues MLB receives during the regular-season and postseason, which likely will be among the most contentious aspects of the proposal during negotiations with the players’ association.
That proposal would take into account fans being able to return to ballparks at some point, perhaps with a small percentage of seats sold at first and then gradually increasing.
This specific report comes less than one week after ESPN reported the same idea of the season starting in July.
There are still plenty of questions as to what an MLB season could look like under the reported proposal, but it seems like owners around the league are confident that the season could begin this summer.