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MLB to unilaterally set 60-game schedule, no expanded playoffs

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Rob Manfred is expected to implement 60 game schedule — coronavirus permitting.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Following the MLB Players Association’s rejection of the owners’ last proposal for a 60 game schedule, commissioner Rob Manfred will unilaterally implement a schedule pursuant to the March 27 agreement between the parties. Manfred will reportedly set a schedule for 60 games.

There will be no expanded playoffs, just the normal five teams in each league in the post season. There will be a universal designated hitter in 2020, but not necessarily in 2021.

There will be no advertising patches on uniforms. Players don’t have to get mic’ed up for television, and that stupid rule about starting extra innings with a runner on second base is not in the plans- for now.

When and Where?

Players are expected to report for Spring Training 2.0 on or about July 1, with the season set to begin around July 24. The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Tigers are expected to hold spring training in Lakeland, Fla. The schedule will include games between teams within their east, west, or central regions to reduce travel.

Manfred released a statement on Monday evening stating that the players need to agree to the date of return as well as the health and safety protocols that the two sides were wrapping up before releasing the schedule. In its own release, the MLBPA stated “...we anticipate finalizing a set of health and safety protocols with MLB in the coming days.” MLB requested acceptance of the two issues by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Of course, the coronavirus needs to cooperate in order for any kind of season to commence, much less be completed. Testing shows the virus spiking in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California, home to a third of MLB teams, and the spring training facilities of all 30 clubs.

No pay for playoffs?

One issue to keep an eye on as the season approaches is the payment to players for the post season. Absent an agreement, the players’ pool is based on a percentage of gate receipts. Without any gate receipts, there is no clear method of compensating players for participating in the post season.

The players’ pool was $80 million in 2019. Both parties had presented offers of a $50 million player pool during talks. The last offer rejected by the players provided for a $25 million playoff pool. while MLB receives some $787 million in television revenue from the post season.

Now for today’s fan poll:

Poll

How do you feel about MLB’s 60 game schedule?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Better than no season, play ball!
    (216 votes)
  • 5%
    Waste of time, it’s not legitimate
    (20 votes)
  • 13%
    There shouldn’t be a season
    (47 votes)
  • 17%
    Too upset with players/ owners to care now
    (62 votes)
345 votes total Vote Now