Roger Hornsby said it best.
“People ask me what I do in the winter when there is no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ”
When spring finally comes, will baseball come along with the fresh wave of allergies and inconsistent weather?
According to Tampa Bay Rays Manager Kevin Cash, Major League Baseball gives indications that spring training and presumably the regular season are about to start at their regular pre-pandemic times, while Rays staff plan to report to Port Charlotte in mid-February. . The opening day as of now is still scheduled for April 1 with the Rays playing in Miami against the Marlins.
# Rays MGR Kevin Cash said that MLB MGRs had contact with the commission office on Tuesday and that “from everything I hear, they are still shooting for spring to begin in time … that message has been steady. We will continue to prepare and play until we will be notified of anything else. “
– Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) December 16, 2020
However, nothing has been announced or made official and according to a report by Bob Nightengale of USA Today, The MLB Players Association and the Commissioner’s Office (ie the owners) disagree on when the season should actually start. The players claim that if they stick to the same protocols as they did during the shortened 60-game season in 2020, they proved that they can play a full schedule.
However, the owners want each player to be vaccinated before the game can return, which probably means the season will not start until May. An owner who speaks in anonymity has gone so far as to say that there is one ZERO PERCENT chance for spring training starting in February.
“I see no way spring training will start in February. No chance for that. I do not care if we play 140 games, 120 games or 80 games, we must make sure that everyone is confident in doing this correctly. ”
– Anonymous American League team winner
Following the cancellation and postponement of the regular season in 2020, MLBPA and the owners went through very messy and sometimes public negotiations that eventually led to an agreement that caused the players to receive proportional salaries and a shortened 60-season.
After a few hiccups early on, the game did not show any coronavirus-related problems. at least until Justin Turner tested positive during game six of the World Series and then went out on the field to celebrate the title with his teammates immediately after the game. There were even fans who got to participate in the National League Championship Series and World Series.
But during the regular season, baseball was played in empty stadiums, and this caused teams all over the league to bleed money with The Athletic reported that the league lost $ 3.1 billion due to the pandemic. Thus, the owners want every player and coach to be vaccinated to ensure that they do not get any COVID outbreaks in 2021 … and I assume also for the benefit of everyone’s health, but also so that they will not fail to collect 3.1 billion dollars left.
In the meantime, the players of course want to play as many matches as possible with only earning 33% of what their guaranteed salary was before the season’s cancellation.
Alas, the two sides remain in negotiations about when the season will actually start, but an agreement does not seem to be in the near future. Will baseball start on time? Will the spring training be delayed until April? Will it happen at all in the spring?
Wait and see.