MLB Rumors: Rob Manfred Has Ability To Suspend Or Cancel 2020 Season Under 3 Reasons
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Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports

After months of negotiations with its Players Association that essentially went nowhere, Major League Baseball has finally implemented a format for the 2020 season, which is just around the corner.

Players are set to report to their team’s city for Spring Training 2.0 on July 1, with Opening Day scheduled for a few weeks later on July 23. There will be 60 regular-season games with a normal postseason to follow.

Perhaps the most important aspect of MLB being able to play the 2020 season while the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still going on is being able to keep players and staff members healthy. MLB and the MLBPA were able to come to an agreement on health and safety protocols, which will be very strict.

But according to Andy Martino of SNY, the MLBPA has allowed commissioner Rob Manfred to suspend or cancel the season if a select criteria is met:

The Commissioner retains the right to suspend or cancel the 2020 championship season or postseason, or any games therein, in the event that (i) restrictions on travel throughout the United States are imposed; (ii) there is a material change in circumstances such that the Commissioner determines, after consultation with recognized medical experts and the Players Association, that it poses an unreasonable health and safety risk to players or staff to stage those games, even without fans in attendance; or (III) The number of players who are unavailable to perform services due to COVID-19 is so great that the competitive integrity of the season is undermined.

According to sources, the union had agreed to the first two items during the back-and-forth over a return to play. The third item was added on Tuesday.

Everyone is hoping that another shut down will not be necessary, although with coronavirus cases continuing to grow rapidly throughout the country, there is no telling how that will affect the MLB season.

If the players take the health and safety protocols seriously then a shut down should be avoided and a 2020 champion should be able to be crowned. With various players and staff members across the league already testing positive in recent days though, things are not off to a good start.

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