Although Major League Baseball and the Players Association are a mere 10 games apart in their most recent proposals to one another, team owners have not shown an indication to budge from their offer of a 60-game season.
“MLB has informed the Association that it will not respond to our last proposal and will not play more than 60 games,” the MLBPA said in a statement Friday. “Our Executive Board will convene in the near future to determine next steps. Importantly, Players remain committed to getting back to work as soon as possible.”
As MLB and the MLBPA have been unable to find common ground for the length of the season and in turn prorated salaries, the two sides agreed an expanded postseason and universal designated hitter for 2020 and 2021 could be implemented if a deal is reached.
What had flown under the radar is an understanding that games possibly ending in ties this season would be discussed, and both MLB and the MLBPA agreed to the controversial rule of placing a runner on second base for games that go extra innings, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY, :
Just when you thought a 2020 baseball season couldn’t look more bizarre, Major League Baseball and the players union are considering the possibility of having games end in a tie for the first time in the sport’s history, and at the very least, will change the format of extra innings.
The two sides agreed in their proposal this week, obtained by USA TODAY Sports, that they will adopt the minor-league rule in 2020 that every inning after the ninth will start with a runner on second base. In the postseason, games will revert back to traditional rules.
It’s possible the extra-inning rule will become permanent, but the union agreed to change the rule for only 2020.
In 2018, Minor League Baseball adopted the rule of placing a runner on second base at the start of every extra inning. MLB implementing the change would represent a significant shift for a sport that largely has clung to tradition.
Meanwhile, the possibility of ties becoming a reality is all the more surprising. Justin Turner has pitched the idea of using a home run derby to end games that extend beyond the 10th inning, which multiple Los Angeles Dodgers teammates supported.
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