MLB, Players Resolve Issues; 60-Game Season Starts In Late July
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Major League Baseball owners and players resolved their remaining issues Tuesday night and a 60-game season will begin around July 24, according to ESPN.
Players signed off on health-and-safety measures after earlier Tuesday assuring owners they can arrive at their home ballparks no later than July 1 to start training again. The players' union tweeted Tuesday night that "all remaining issues have been resolved and players are reporting to training camps."
And for the first time, the designated hitter will be used in the National League.
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Owners and Commissioner Rob Manfred implemented the 60-game season Monday night after players overwhelmingly rejected a different 60-game plan. It included an expanded postseason and other salary steps. The owners’ new 60-game plan does not. Both sides have been trying to work out a deal for weeks — at one point the owners were aiming for a July 4 start to the season — but each proposal was met by contempt from the other side.
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"Needless to say, we are disappointed by this development,'' MLB said in a statement after the players’ vote earlier Monday. "The framework provided an opportunity for MLB and its players to work together to confront the difficulties and challenges presented by the pandemic. It gave our fans the chance to see an exciting new postseason format. And, it offered players significant benefits.''
All remaining issues have been resolved and Players are reporting to training camps.— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) June 24, 2020
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In the deal implemented by Manfred, players receive full prorated salaries — about 37% of their full-season salaries — and $1.5 billion total, but no postseason money, according to ESPN.
MLB will try to finish the 60-game season by Sept. 27. The postseason will start at the current total of 10 teams soon after and run through October. The number of teams in the playoffs are not expanded in the owners’ latest plan.
"While we had hoped to reach a revised back to work agreement with the league, the Players remain fully committed to proceeding under our current agreement and getting back on the field for the fans, for the game, and for each other," the MLB Players’ Association said in a statement.
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Because of spikes in coronavirus cases in Florida and Arizona, where all MLB teams train, the league said training would have to resume in the home ballparks of each team. The Florida and Arizona sites have been shut down.
While NASCAR, UFC and the PGA Tour have resumed their schedules in earnest, and the NBA and NHL are close to resuming their seasons, MLB and its players have been bickering. But it looks like there might finally be a baseball season and a World Series to bet on after all.