SI Insider: MLB Has Had Shortened Seasons In the Past, But Coronavirus Still Presents a Unique Situation

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Back in 1981, after baseball was shut down by a two-month player strike, baseball began with the All-Star Game in August and followed that by picking up the schedule as originally drafted. Neither will be the case this time. 

Baseball doesn't think it's wise to start with the All-Star Game because of concerns about health protocols; asking players and staff from all 30 teams to gather in one place and then return to their respective camps. As far as the schedule goes, that will be redrafted with a heavy emphasis on reducing travel. 

That means regional rivalries. Imagine an opening day in which the Yankees are playing the Red Sox, the Cubs are playing the Cardinals, and the Dodgers are playing the Giants. Now, when the shutdown first happened and MLB kept up, some optimism that teams could maintain 162 game season. 

Since then, they've reduced that number to around hundred. And now they're down to hoping for about 78 to 81 games. Now, if that's the case, that'll be the shortest season on record. Replacing 1981 when teams played at most 110 games.