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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Will baseball play in front of empty stands?

From the NY POST
Two items are becoming more and more probable if there is going to be a major league season this year:
1. It is going to begin without crowds.
2. It is going to begin without a standard minor league feeder system.
Central to the agreement that was reached last week between MLB and the Players Association was a good-faith understanding that there will be “best efforts to play as many games as possible.” Teams derive revenue and players earn salary from games, so both pledged commitment to a regular season as stocked with games as possible.
And it is just logical at this point, as one team executive said, “By a matter of weeks, we will be able to play games without crowds [before we can play games] with them.” Another official said, “I think the only way we play, at least initially, is without fans.”
For now, MLB has suspended operations until at least mid-May owing to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention edicts to avoid mass gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. The agreement states that games will not resume until there are no federal, city or local restrictions on mass gatherings and until the commissioner determines, via consultation with medical experts, that no “unreasonable health and safety risk to players, staff, or spectators” persists. However, it also empowers the commissioner to discuss in good faith playing in neutral sites and without fans.Playing in empty stadiums, at least at the outset, could provide MLB a way to avoid what could be the embarrassment of small crowds while meeting the obligation to play as many games as feasible.
Part of playing as many games as possible will likely entail the addition of doubleheaders, the removal of some off days and an extension of the regular season into October. That is going to necessitate, first, the expansion of rosters from 26 to perhaps 30, especially early in the season to protect arms. But a quickened second spring training, more games in a consolidated period and the normal wear and tear of a season means more than 30 players are required as a season progresses. Normally, that means promoting players from the minors. 
Read more here.

You can read about the deal with the MLB and MLBPA here.

I guess we have to wait to see what happens. Going to have to see when this world goes back to "normal"

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