In a time when we need it most, our national pastime will be available to us after all. Baseball is back.
It had been rumored the past few days, but until the MLBPA put pen to paper — or in the modern age, released a Twitter statement — the sports world was right to have doubt. Tony Clark’s bunch could always pull a fast one, or perhaps MLB commissioner Rob Manfred would try to sneak in a last-minute salary provision. Instead, after weeks of negotiations with little to no traction, Manfred’s self-imposed 60-game season has passed the test.
The MLBPA agreed to the season length, financial and health details on Tuesday night. Players will report to camps by July 1 to undergo testing for COVID-19, and the season is scheduled to begin on July 24.
MLBPA officially agreed to MLB’s terms on Tuesday night, with the health and safety protocol serving as the final hurdle.
A 60-game season will include a universal DH, new extra-inning rules which place a runner on second base to begin the 10th, an Aug. 31 trade deadline and several teams of reserve players just in case of a COVID-19 outbreak.
While it’s admirable the two stubborn sides finally came to some sort of understanding, nothing can really be set in stone until we reach Opening Day without significant setbacks from the pandemic. COVID-19 remains on the rise in several states — including those which opened earlier than perhaps necessary — and that is something MLB must monitor moving forward.
But at least for one night, we can dream of the crack of the bat. What it says about looming 2021 CBA negotiations remains to be seen, but for now, the league has avoided a major disaster, which would’ve abandoned the trust of millions.
We’re all struggling; might as well enjoy a ball-game, safely from our couches.