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Baseball to return in July after owners, players reach deal

The roller coaster ride is over, there will be baseball in 2020.

After months of negotiations on key details, MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association have agreed to terms for a 2020 season. Negotiations began in March after Covid-19 shut down the sporting world. Since then, ongoing negotiations between team owners and players have been ugly, to say the least.

Offer, counter-offer. Offer, counter-offer.

The cycle went on for months with very little progress. The players wanted the full prorated salaries they agreed to back in March, but owners asked them to give up more. There were multiple obstacles to overcome, and it still didn’t end the way either side wanted.

The details

  • 60-game season starting July 24
  • Players report to Spring Training 2.0 on July 1 at their home parks)
  • Universal DH in both the American and National League, for 2020 only
  • No expanded playoffs
  • A runner will start on second base in extra innings
  • 60-player pool teams can choose from, three taxi-squad players
  • 40 games against divisional opponents, 20 interleague games against regional teams from opposite division (Ex: NL West vs AL West)

Players will be tested once they arrive for the second Spring Training, as well as constantly throughout the season. A few of the other guidelines include: showering at home, no sunflower seeds, no high-fives, no fist-bumps, lockers six feet apart. You get the idea.

With any sporting event starting up in the middle of a pandemic, battling the coronavirus will force some pretty serious protocols. Back in May, a 67-page health and safety proposal outlined what the season will look like on the field. MLB will likely operate based on those guidelines while changing and adding more as the season progresses.

With baseball officially returning for the 2020 season, things will be … unique, to say the least. There is still plenty of tension between the players and owners, which will spill over into the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations in 2021. It’s far from perfect, but at least there will be a season.

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