Baseball players validated Rob Manfred’s imposed 60-game schedule by signing off on health and safety protocols. This isn’t to say that baseball will be returning to the way it was pre-COVID-19. What impact will this new season have on the players? Keep reading to find out!
A Change in Mindset
Instead of the mindset of winning games, players, this season will be focusing on the weight room. Specifically, spring training will focus on weightlifting rather than games. The players will be tested for COVID-19 on July 1, and training will start on July 3. Players also won’t be focused on the data this season.
One constant for the season is that teams can report to their major-league venues. The only exception is for the Blue Jays, who are subject to a separate federal government. It is worth noting that MLB is allowed to relocate teams for health and safety reasons. This means that players will be wondering if they will have to relocate throughout the season.
Each team is going to play 60 games in 66 days. This means that players will be keeping busy during the season. Although this seems like a lot of games, it is only a little over 1/3 of the typical season. Spectators are concerned if this is enough time to determine a clear winner. Breaking this down more, 40 of the 60 games will be against the same division, and 20 will be against the corresponding division in the opposite league.
It has been decided that players can opt-out with pay if they are deemed “high risk.” This is an interesting point for players with underlying health concerns because they could lack the motivation to play if they are still being paid. It is worth noting that players living with a high-risk individual would not automatically receive full-pay. These decisions are up to each team to make with their own discretion. Some players have spouses who are pregnant, which could be considered high-risk.
The days of doubleheaders are over, at least for now. For the health and safety of the players, advisors suggest that players should be limiting their exposure to each other.