Baseball May Resume Around July 4th With Designated Hitter & Reduced Salaries
I miss baseball. But there is hope that the season will still happen, along with the game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa (under construction above).
Major League baseball posted this video on their Facebook page last Friday with the caption "Dreaming of this..." followed by a baseball emoji.
Yes, construction is continuing at the Field of Dreams, where the Yankees and White Sox are scheduled to play on Thursday, August 13. It's hard to believe that's just three months from Wednesday, especially considering the Major League Baseball regular season has now been delayed nearly seven weeks. It was scheduled to begin on March 26. We now know when the league hopes to begin, but there are plenty of hurdles in the way.
CBS Sports reported Major League Baseball league officials were meeting via conference call today to discuss the 2020 season. The Associated Press reports an agreement was reached among the owners, with the players union expected to receive the finalized plan tomorrow.
The Athletic says owners want pay reductions, above and beyond what players agreed to in March. As you can see from this tweet via Major League Baseball Insider Jon Heyman, it likely won't be easy to get players to agree:
The next item is something I'm NOT a fan of as a big fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the National League (N.L.) in general. The designated hitter (DH) could be used in both leagues this year... it's never been used in regular-season games between National League teams. The New York Post says it would be to "protect pitchers who will have to ramp up to pitch in a shortened second spring." Oh, please. However, it could be a bargaining chip for the owners to use as the players association undoubtedly wants the DH in the NL as well.
Teams would play games in their home stadiums and would only take on teams from their divisional counterpart in the other league and their division itself. That appears to mean the Cardinals would only play games against the Cubs, Brewers, Reds, and Pirates from the National League Central and the Tigers, Twins, Indians, Royals, and White Sox from the American League Central. It would certainly limit travel in a big way.
After an abbreviated regular season, likely around 80 games that would start in early July, a total of 14 teams would make the playoffs.
I believe starting the season on the 4th of July would be perfect for the game known as America's Favorite Pastime, but much still stands in the way... not the least of which is COVID-19.
My hope is that if the health experts determine that baseball can be played, even if it's in empty stadiums, bickering between the owners and players doesn't prevent it. If we go an entire season without baseball, many people may decide they no longer need the game. Especially if the players and owners are to blame for that season not happening.