MLB News: Rob Manfred Collaborating With Other Commissioners To Plan Path For Sports Returning
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

While the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is still very prevalent in the United States, Major League Baseball has ramped up its discussions for a start to the 2020 regular season.

MLB reportedly sent its first proposal to the Players Association, which includes safety, travel and testing protocols that would be in place if the season were to start as soon as July.

While there is unlikely to be an agreement on the first proposal, it seems that both sides are committed to playing a season if it is safe enough for everyone.

That is the tricky part though, and in an interview with Anderson Cooper of CNN, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he is in discussions with other sports leagues to try and figure out the best way for them all to return:

“We are group-learners, is maybe the best word. I’m having extensive, ongoing conversations with the commissioners of the other major North American sports. Listening to what their plans are, what they’re thinking about in terms of timing. Maybe most importantly, putting our heads together on what sort of protocols work in sports. We’ve also paid a lot of attention to efforts to restart other sports around the world. They’re playing baseball in Korea and Taiwan, some professional soccer in Europe. We’ve studied all the protocols those sports are using and we’ve tried to learn from what they’re doing, what’s worked for them, in the hope we can pull this off in the safest possible way.”

Manfred has already expressed confidence that MLB and the MLBPA will reach an agreement on the economic side of things, so safety is likely the biggest hurdle at this time.

It was recently reported that MLB plans to convert its PED testing center in Utah into a coronavirus testing center. Because the league doesn’t want to take testing away from civilians that need it during this difficult time, they would also be providing that in addition to the testing of the players and families that will be at risk if a season is played.

The coming weeks will be huge as far as discussions go, but if all of the logistics can be figured out, the Los Angeles Dodgers could be taking the field for Spring Training 2.0 as early as the middle of June.

Whether they would play at Dodger Stadium or in Arizona remains to be seen though due to stay-at-home laws currently in place in L.A. County.

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