Players, Owners Agree on Deal to Start 2020 Major League Baseball Season


Baseball is back. Mookie Betts will play meaningful games in Dodger Blue.

Late Tuesday afternoon, after many failed attempts and halted negotiations, the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball reached an agreement to start the 2020 season. Play for the year had been halted in mid-March due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 around the country and the world.

The when and where has been decided. Players will report on July 1 for the second spring training, or ‘Summer Training.’ In the case of the Dodgers, their pre-season workouts will be at Dodger Stadium. Most teams will be doing their spring training 2.0 at their home venues, with the exception of the Toronto Blue Jays, who are not allowed to travel into Canada. They may share a stadium with the Tampa Bay Rays.

There will be 60 games over the span of 66 days. The season will start on July 24 and end on September 27. Teams will play 40 games against division rivals and 20 games against their geographic counterparts. For the Dodgers, that breaks down to 10 games against the San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies. Then there would be four games each against the Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, Oakland A’s, and Los Angeles Angels.

The exact details of the health and safety protocols are not yet known, but here is what we do know surrounding that issue: Players who are high risk, or who live with people who are high risk, such as a pregnant spouse, can opt out of the season and still be paid with service time. The inclusion of the cohabitation clause was something that was added in the last few days.

There are some new items in the over 100-page MLB operations manual for the pandemic-shortened season. Among them, there will be no bat boy or bat girls, as those duties will be taken care of by existing team staff. Fighting and instigation of fights will be strictly prohibited, as well as buffet style food service. Players will not be allowed to arrive at the field before five hours prior to game time, nor may they stay more than 90 minutes afterwards.

Extra innings will start with a man on second base. The designated hitter will also be used in both leagues throughout the season. And, as we all know, there will be no fans in attendance at the games.

Details of exactly how everything will be handled will be announced in the next few days, and we will cover them as they become available. After months of waiting, it appears we have some concrete plans and baseball will return.


13 thoughts on “Players, Owners Agree on Deal to Start 2020 Major League Baseball Season

  1. I very much hope we see a full schedule (meaning the 60 game schedule) and a complete run of playoff games, but we still have a month to go before the season even starts. I just saw where Charlie Blackmon and two other guys he was training with at Coors have tested positive. I wonder if they have decided at what point they might have to shut things down. Obviously 3 players isn’t going to do it, but I’m far from certain that we’ll get all the way through the season and playoffs. I hope I’m wrong, because it would sure be nice to be talking about normal baseball stuff again.

    I see where they won’t be allowing buffets, fights or instigation of fights. What about food fights?
    Can you instigate a fight if you do it from a distance of more than 6 feet? Then just arrange to meet in an alley once the pandemic is over to settle it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They have a taxi squad. Players testing positive go into quarantine immediately and must have 2 clean tests to be reinstated. 10 games against each of your division opponents, and 4 each against the AL equivalent. So we play the cheating Stros 4 times. Should be interesting because for the first time in history, the MLB season will be a dash instead of a marathon. I read somewhere that there will be 20 extra players allowed to train while the season is on going. Trade deadline should be interesting as well. Transaction freeze ends this Friday. Play Ball!


  2. Thanks for staying on top of this, Andy. I’m finally getting a handle on how it will work. Next to last paragraph told me some things I didn’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It will be a miracle if they get through spring training. 3 guys in Colorado? What if it was spring training. Would they have to shut down the team while the whole team is tested? And if it was spring training it might have been 10/15 players. Some of the shut down decisions will be made by state or counties. Pretty sure the majority of players dont care. They will play no matter what as long as they get paid. Health and safety protocols will be interesting, given the pandemic rules in each city. The only thing worse than no baseball would be 10 games then no baseball. Have to believe they are getting the best advise available but I still have my doubts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been thinking about your “10 games and then no baseball” scenario Gordon and I’ve decided that I’d still rather have ST and 10 games than nothing at all. With spring training will come normal baseball conversation, including potential trades and signings. Who has developed a new slider and who has reworked his swing. I’ll take that right now, even though it may be a very short window.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thx Andy for the info. I guess the no fighting rule is that pitchers can pitch inside again and way inside if they want with no ramifications

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dodgers will play the Astros 4 times. Jansen said he will not throw at them. Fighting during a pandemic is kind of nuts.


  5. Eddie Kasco passed away at 88. He was 3 days shy of his 89th birthday. Saw him play when he was with the Reds in the early 60’s. Was the SS on their 61 NL championship team and an all star. Later managed the Red Sox. RIP Eddie.


      1. One of the first baseball cards I ever got was a Kasco. Wore glasses too. You do not see many players who wear them anymore. But I remember a few. One was a catcher named Clint Courtney. Played for quite a few teams, but I remember him from the old Washington Senators. Maybe the most famous from our time, Ryne Duren. Threw close to 100MPH, and would always when he was warming up throw one all the way to the backstop. Definitely a uncomfortable at bat. Saw him pitch a couple of times when he was with the Angels.


      2. Yup, that warmup pitch to the backstop coupled with those really thick lenses really worked for ol’ Ryne.


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