Major League Baseball is reportedly hoping to propose a plan to start the season in early July and play close to 80 games.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic made it clear nothing is official. He said MLB will discuss the idea in a conference call with owners Monday. If the owners approve, the league will present the concept to the players’ union Tuesday.
Rosenthal said even a formal plan would be subject to change due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also noted that any plan would require approval from medical experts and confidence that testing would be sufficiently available.
Teams would play regionalized schedules, only facing teams in their own division or the corresponding division in the other league. The Red Sox would face the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, and Baltimore Orioles from the American League East, plus the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins, and Philadelphia Phillies from the National League East.
Rosenthal also reported that games would be played in as many home cities as possible. If teams weren’t able to play at home, relocating to spring training sites or other MLB parks in different cities would be considered.
Seven teams per league would make the playoffs. The team with the best record would get a bye, then the remaining six teams in each league would compete in a best-of-three series to kick the playoffs off.
As Sports Illustrated explained, referencing Rosenthal’s article for The Athletic, the games will be played without fans, at least to start. Players may be asked to take a pay cut to make up for the fact that there will be no fans for an undetermined period of time.
Nothing is solidified as of Saturday, but this appears to be a step in the right direction for fans craving baseball.