With the first full month of what should have been the 2020 Major League Baseball season winding down without a game having been played, it’s been obvious for a while now that a full 162-game season won’t be played.
Baseball is acknowledging that. MLB’s front office, which had been telling teams to inform fans to hold on to their tickets, held a conference call in which teams were given clearance to talk about refunds for 400-plus big-league games that have not been played.
To this point, MLB had been treating those games as postponed. Refunds are primarily offered only after games are canceled.
The Los Angeles Times said that the new move came a week after MLB, all 30 of its teams and four ticket brokers were named as defendants in a lawsuit brought in California over the sports’ failure to refund tickets.
Oakland A’s ticket holders will earn as early as tomorrow how they’ll able to get refunds or exchanges on tickets purchased. The A’s have had 17 home games scheduled and postponed through Tuesday. The San Francisco Chronicle reported last week that some fans who had bought tickets and A’s Access plans have gotten partial refunds already and were not billed for April.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has been saying with an increasingly loud voice that baseball will be played this season, but to this point there are no indication when the sport might get going, although it seems increasingly unlikely any regular season games would be played before June.
That’s because the sport would need at least three weeks of a second spring training after getting the go-ahead from medical experts, and there is no indication that anyone is ready to sign off on that in the near future.
There have been multiple suggestions as to how baseball could return. One would be to have all games played, at least at the beginning, in Arizona with players, staff and associated workers quarantined. There have been other versions of this plan, including using both Florida and Arizona and adding Texas to those first two states.
Certainly at the beginning, plans call for the games to be played in empty stadiums, although Yankees’ president Randy Levine said late last week it wasn’t going to be practical to play an entire season, however short, without fans.
Major League players have agreed to have doubleheaders added to a potential schedule as well as to having fewer days off. A season that started in June might see teams play somewhere in the area of 100, more if the season’s end was pushed deep into October. The original schedule called for the regular season to start on March 26 and to end on Sept. 27.
Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3
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