At the beginning of June the overarching hope was Major League Baseball and the Players Association would reach an agreement relatively quickly so Spring Training 2.0 could begin by the middle of the month and Opening Day would be held on the Fourth of July.
Instead, the two sides remained at odds over prorated salaries and length of the season. After a meeting between MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark, the league presented an offer for full prorated salaries but only a 60-game season.
The union countered with 70 games, which team owners reportedly were not expecting and angered by. With another proposal unlikely, the MLBPA executive committee has been expected to vote on either approving the 60-game schedule or having Manfred impose a season.
As days have continued to pass without the sides agreeing on a plan, the start of Spring Training 2.0 and a 60-game season both would come later than first expected, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY:
The #MLB proposal remains for 60 games but spring training likely would be pushed back to the June 29-July 4 week, with hopes of starting the season around July 24-27.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 21, 2020
Regardless of the timeline, the majority of teams are expected to stage Spring Training at their home ballparks rather than traditional facilities in Arizona and Florida. MLB did just order Spring Training camps closed and for them to be thoroughly cleaned due to multiple outbreaks of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
That also has led to the league reportedly considering a ‘bubble’ approach to the regular season, much like the NBA. Southern California could be utilized in that scenario, as teams games could be staged at Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, Petco Park and various universities that have suitable facilities.
No matter how it ultimately unfolds, if the season is required to begin later than first believed, it could eliminate the number of off days in the schedule and result in more doubleheaders being played.
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