March 15, 2020

Baseball Unlikely To Return Before May June (?)

UPDATE: It seems like the best-case scenario for the start of the regular season is June 15.

New York Times:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Sunday that no gatherings with 50 people or more — including weddings, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events or conferences — be held in the United States for the next eight weeks in one of the federal government's most sweeping efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich, The Athletic, March 14, 2020:
A day after commissioner Rob Manfred chose to delay the start of the season, he met with the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, Tony Clark, and other top officials in Arizona. The list of issues the sides must resolve is long, with topics ranging from service time and contract bonuses to practical matters of scheduling. At this point, industry sources believe it is unlikely the season will begin before May, which is dependent, of course, on the containment of the virus.

While most issues were unsettled as of Friday night, the sides did agree on one thing: The players are free to leave spring training if they want. They can continue to work out at their team's spring-training facility (where activities will be significantly reduced), relocate to the city where their team plays or head home.

In an illustration of the chaos the sport faces at the moment, some players and agents expressed concern that players leaving spring training could impact another area: player compensation. ...

On Thursday, when Manfred announced that the 2020 season would be delayed, the first sentence of his statement included the phrase "national emergency." A clause in every major-league player's contract — and also included in the sport's collective-bargaining agreement — gives the commissioner the right "to suspend the operation of this contract during any national emergency during which Major League Baseball is not played." If Trump had not acted, the union might have argued that Manfred could not invoke a national emergency on his own.

While Trump's decision appears to give MLB the right to withhold pay, Manfred is not inclined to take such a hard-line position, a source said. One possibility under discussion is the owners advancing players some of their 2020 salaries.
Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom:
It's been agreed that now our players can leave should they choose to, and go home or wherever they need to go. We're trying to make sure that that happens in a safe and orderly manner. ... For players who want to stay here, we will have the facility available to them if they want to stay here and obviously we're going to continue and intensify all the precautions taken to make sure this is a clean and safe environment for everybody here.
ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that a Yankees minor league player tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, the first known case in professional baseball.

1 comment:

Michael said...

this is going to sound like the pettiest first-world comment in the galaxy, but ...a shortened season would make Mookie Betts' 2020 less valuable and the deal even better for the Sox.