After months of postponements and contentious negotiations, Major League Baseball owners and players have finally agreed (or worn each other down enough) to agree on proceeding with a 2020 baseball season.
While the specific schedule and other details still need to be worked out, the agreement calls for 60 regular season games followed by the postseason. Players will report July 1 and do their "spring training," mostly in their respective stadium facilities before kicking off the regular season either July 23 or 24. Fans will not be allowed to attend until further notice (which makes me wonder if the Tampa Bay Rays will even notice a difference.) Here are additional details to know for the 2020 season, from MLB.com:
• Players will undergo COVID-19 testing upon arrival, then begin workouts if they test negative. Players, coaches and support staff will be tested for COVID-19 every other day during training camps, the regular season and postseason. Anybody testing positive will be quarantined. Two negative tests are reportedly required for a return. Players will also receive temperature/symptom checks at least twice per day, and antibody testing will be conducted approximately once per month.
• The designated-hitter (DH) rule will be used in both leagues in 2020, part of the league’s health and safety protocols for this season.
• Teams will open the season with a 30-man active roster; it will be reduced to 28 players after two weeks, then to 26 after four weeks.
• The Trade Deadline will be Aug. 31.
• To be eligible for the postseason, a player must be added to the Major League roster by Sept. 15.
• Teams will be permitted to carry up to three taxi-squad players on the road during the season, though if a team carries three such players, one must be a catcher.
• During extra-inning games in the regular season, each half-inning will begin with a runner on second base. The batter who made the final out in the previous inning (or a pinch-runner for that batter) would be that runner.
• There will be a 10-day injured list for both pitchers and hitters, though the 60-day IL will be reduced to a 45-day IL.
• There will be a separate IL for players who either test positive or have symptoms/confirmed exposure to COVID-19. There is no maximum or minimum days for this IL.
• MLB’s transaction freeze, which has been in place since the season was suspended, will end on Friday at 12 p.m. ET.
• Other health precautions include: Team personnel and players not likely to participate in the game (for example, the next day's starting pitcher) will be sitting in the stands or another area designated by the club, at least six feet apart; non-playing personnel will wear masks in dugout and bullpen at all times; no spitting or chewing tobacco (gum is permitted); no celebratory contact (high-fives, fist bumps, hugs, etc.).
For once, I wouldn't be mad if the Brewers only won say, 40-45 regular season games! That could end up giving them in the best record in baseball in this crazy 2020 year.
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