When Major League Baseball cancelled remaining Spring Training games and delayed the start of the 2020 season, it left Opening Day tentatively scheduled for April 9. That of course was considered a best-case scenario, and MLB wound up pushing the start back indefinitely.
They did so in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that gatherings of 50 or more people be cancelled at least through May 10. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has since ruled out the possibility of playing a 162-game season.
The new hope is a second Spring Training will begin at some point in May, with Opening Day to follow two or three weeks after. Of course, that hinges on slowing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, some within MLB have discussed potentially starting the season on July 4:
In MLB circles, July 4 has been one of the options floated for a possible Opening Day. https://t.co/6AV22CdkDB
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) March 31, 2020
Despite conceding MLB will not produce a 162-game season in 2020, Manfred is optimistic the league will still reach a substantial number. What could follow is a postseason that includes various experiments, including possibly expanding the number of teams.
That could require playing a heavy slate of doubleheaders, which some Major Leaguers reportedly are already in support of.
Another change could be in cancelling the 2020 MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium. The Midsummer Classic has already been awarded to the Atlanta Braves for 2021, which would leave the Los Angeles Dodgers waiting until 2022 to host.
With so much uncertainty, any and every scenario can’t be ruled out, nor can predictions be confidently made. “I don’t think anybody can say anything with certainty right now. About anything,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said last week.
“Things are seemingly changing by the day and I think with the safer at home (order), we obviously all get the benefits of that. By us all doing that, I’m optimistic of where that will lead but I don’t think anybody is looking too far out right now with any bold proclamations.”
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