The Latest News and Rumors Regarding When We May See Major League Baseball Again
Thursday was a painful day for most around baseball, as it was a day that we were supposed to see the start of the 2020 season around the United States.
Instead, it was a day when fans played simulated games, read features (like our nine-post "Almost Opening Day" feature), and stared outside at empty ball fields that should have been filled with the greatest players in the world.
So with all that, when might we see an umpire officially yell the phrase "play ball" and an official game be played?
That's the million dollar question, and one that does not appear any closer to answering.
Baseball insiders like Jon Heyman, Jeff Passan and Bob Nightengale has been keeping fans up to date on any breaking news, with maybe the biggest news coming early Friday that the players and union have agreed to do what they can to salvage to 2020 season - even if it means playing close to Thanksgiving.
The deal includes a commitment from MLB and the players to play as close to a full regular-season schedule as possible, with games in October and a postseason in November, providing the COVID-19 crisis dissipates and permits them to even start a season.
The two sides would like to play at least 100 games, with the hopes of playing as many as possible, scheduling regular-season games through October and including weekly doubleheaders. They have also discussed the idea of expanding the current playoff format to help offset the loss of income, while acknowledging that if cold weather becomes an issue in November, they could move the World Series and playoff series from cold-weather cities to a neutral site.
Nightengale also reported via Twitter that teams are still prohibited from trading draft picks.
Heyman tweeted Friday that there is a chance that games may wind up being played minus fans, which is something that has been discussed as well for games in the NBA and NHL to try and minimize the amount of danger in arenas.
There's also a chance according to Heyman of an extended postseason, with it going from 10 teams to 14 teams.
It's a proposal that has been bantered about for awhile, but this could be the year that the league tries it to see how fans react and the success rate around the game.
Passan went into detail as well as to what will have to take place in order for games to start around the Majors again.
Playing at neutral sites is a big part of getting the season underway, as well as there will be no travel restrictions and bans on mass gatherings to play in front of fans.
As has been the case since the announcement that the league would not start on time, things seem to be changing by the minute, and fans continue to wait and hold their breath as to when the 2020 season might actually get underway.