After several weeks of exchanging proposals with the Players Association, Major League Baseball team owners unanimously approved for commissioner Rob Manfred to unilaterally impose a 2020 regular season.
It comes after the MLBPA voted to reject a 60-game proposal that included an expanded postseason and universal designated hitter for this year and next. Manfred is expected to set a schedule for 60 games and full prorated salaries.
The league and union had long been at odds over compensation for the season. Owners requested that players take another pay cut, dropping down from the prorated salaries previously promised to them in favor of other various arrangements.
That was due to the likelihood that fans won’t be permitted to attend games this year — or at least not at the majority of stadiums. While the absence of fans could result in significant losses, it will also take some time getting used to from an on-the-field perspective.
During a recent appearance on “Lunchtime with Roggin and Rodney,” Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts reiterated that his players have to go out and make the best of these unprecedented circumstances:
“It’s different, but I know that we won’t use it as an excuse. I think you’re still going out there getting paid, you’re still trying to win a baseball game, you’re still trying to compete and win a championship. I think it just opens things up that are different. The game is about the players and the fans. Now, when there’s no fans in there, we’ve got to think outside the box and how we can capture fans that are in their living rooms watching Dodger Baseball. I think the idea of players, coaches, being more open to the mic, I think that makes sense. It’s going to be different but it’s no excuse. You’ve still got to go out there and play.”
Walker Buehler shared a similar sentiment and opined that his Dodgers teammates will have to deal with the possibility of playing games in fan-less environments this year.
Cody Bellinger shared a similar viewpoint, but he also believes prior experience playing in high school and Minor League stadiums could prove valuable. Justin Turner is another who is anticipating a unique feeling with playing games at an empty Dodger Stadium.
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