98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
Major League Baseball owners have approved a plan to begin the 2020 season that they will propose to the players union, as first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic on Twitter. According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, the plan is for the season to start around Fourth of July weekend.
According to Blum, there will be an 82-game regular season followed by a 14-team playoff with an expanded Wild Card round. But the plan is now in the hands of the players union, and money remains at the center of the negotiations. The AP report describes the owners’ proposed 50-50 revenue split as “among the most contentious aspects of the proposal”. Teams and players have already agreed that players will earn a portion of their salaries based on whatever percentage of a 162-game season is played.
Roster modifications for the 2020 season would include an expansion to 30 players, plus another 20 described by the AP as a “practice squad”. It would also include a designated hitter in both leagues, as was previously reported.
The owners’ proposal reportedly took into account that fans would eventually be allowed to attend ballparks, likely starting small and gradually increasing crowd sizes. But teams will still have to ensure that they reopen while adhering to all restrictions at the state and local level amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Mass., governor Charlie Baker announced a plan to reopen the state in four distinct phases named “Start”, “Cautious”, “Vigilant”, and “The New Normal”. There will be more information in the coming days about what each phase entails and which industries can reopen when.
The state announced Monday that the death toll in Mass. due to COVID-19 rose by 129 to 5,108. Total cases rose by 669 to 78,462.