Baseball is back.
After three months of tense negotiations, the league Tuesday implemented a 60-game season that will start on July 23 or 24 and end no later than September 30. The season is in accordance with the March 26 agreement that entitles players to a full portion of their prorated salaries.
After solidifying health and safety protocols, the two sides officially reached an agreement Tuesday night to kickstart the season. Players will report to Spring Training no later than July 1.
MLB recently shut down all Spring Training Facilities in Florida and Arizona due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in those states. With that decision, Spring Training 2.0 will be held at each team’s respective home ballpark.
Opening Day: July 23 or 24
Season: 60 games
Location: Home ballparks
Health and safety: "MLB's foremost priorities" pic.twitter.com/PWOu9GolDh
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 24, 2020
Members of the Colorado Rockies organization have been training at Coors Field for some time, including Charlie Blackmon, who just tested positive for COVID-19.
The 2020 season has been reworked to accommodate the number of games and sudden return to action, per ESPN. Changes include:
- Designated Hitter in the National League
- 10 games vs. each divisional opponent; four games vs regional interleague opponents
- Runner on second base to start extra innings
- Aug. 31 trade deadline
- COVID testing every other day for players
It’s important to note that there will not be an expanded playoff this season, given the two sides failed to reach a formal agreement beyond the initial March 26 pact. By not agreeing to a new deal, the players maintained the right to file a grievance against the league.
Many view the 60-game seaosn as illegitimate since there are typically 162 games in a season. To put this in perspective, the Washington Nationals were 27-33 after 60 games last season, and they went on to win the World Series.
The Rockies were 31-29 at the same point last season. The Rockies tend to start hot in the regular season and cool off around the All-Star break. Back in 2017, the Rockies got off to a sizzling start, posting a 37-23 record through the first five dozen games. At that season’s mark, the Rockies were in first place in the NL West.
The 2020 season will be chaotic, but it could oddly play into the Rockies favor.