While Major League Baseball hopes to have some form of a 2020 regular season take place, it has long become clear that a 162-game schedule is no longer feasible.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed as much in late March when he conceded that a full season’s worth of games would be difficult to pull off.
However, there is a belief that both the MLB and MLB Players Association are motivated to make up as many games possible if and once play resumes later down the road.
One potential solution is extending the regular season into late October — or beyond. This would entail the postseason and World Series being held in November, with the latter perhaps coinciding with Thanksgiving.
During a recent appearance on “Lunchtime with Roggin and Rodney” on AM 570 L.A. Sports, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw explained that he is open to playing later into the year, but only to a certain cutoff date to ensure he gets a full offseason of rest:
“I’m all for playing as many games as we can. I just think once you start getting into playing longer in the year, that starts affecting next year. I just think you get a little risky the further you go into the season. Obviously, expanding it maybe a couple weeks on the backend, but man if you go any further than that, you start talking about Thanksgiving or December for a World Series, that gets a little iffy in my opinion.
“For me personally, having the offseason to regenerate and get ready for the next one, it’s important. I don’t think we can take that for granted. I’m all for maybe a couple extra weeks, but I don’t think we can get too crazy with how far the season goes. But I’m all for doubleheaders and playing as many games as we can. Even scrapping a few off days and playing through.”
As Kershaw notes, MLB must take a number of factors into consideration when deciding on the length of a hypothetical 2020 season. Should the campaign extend to November or even December, it would result in a significantly shorter offseason for the players.
The start of the 2021 season could also be pushed back, although MLB will likely do everything in its power to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Meanwhile, Kershaw’s preference for this year coincides with what MLB reportedly is thinking. The league is said to be intent on avoiding plate late into the fall for fear a second wave of the coronavirus could disrupt the postseason.
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