By Amanda Brennan
Baseball fans rejoice! Baseball is back!
Tuesday night, it was confirmed that an agreement was made between Major League Baseball owners and the MLB Player’s Association (MLBPA). Players will abide by commissioner Rob Manfred’s outline.
Fans can expect the 60-game season to begin around July 24. Training camps are planned to open on July 1 in each team’s respective city.
If the 60-game schedule is completed, the players will earn about 37% of their full-season salary.
This decision comes after weeks of disagreements between players and owners. Health and safety protocols have also been finalized between the MLBPA and MLB owners.
The 67-page health-and-safety manual, obtained by ESPN, explains how COVID-19 testing, on-field interactions and other issues will work. There will be no high-fives, fist-bumps or spitting. Players and staff will be 6 feet apart and separated in the stands when they are not playing. Additionally, baseballs will be removed and thrown away after many players touch the ball.
Players at high-risk of coronavirus, or players who live with high-risk family members, can choose to opt-out of the season while still earning full pay and service times. There will be a separate COVID-19 inactive list if players test positive for the virus or show coronavirus symptoms, according to Jeff Passan from ESPN.
As of Monday, 40 MLB players and staff tested positive for coronavirus. Since then, spring training facilities in Arizona and Florida have been shut down.
Meanwhile, baseball fans eagerly await for the start of a safe baseball season…just a few months behind schedule.
Photo by Amanda Brennan