by Max Osias ’24
Published Feb. 13th, 2021
It appears as though the MLB season will start on Thursday, April 1st. However, many team managers are hoping for another delay, similar to the events of last season. Even though it may seem counter-intuitive, pushing back the season would allow easier access to vaccinations for players, allowing teams to travel to their opponents’ ballparks with less severe restriction. This would also enable fans to be at the games, to a certain degree, which would generate more revenue for the MLB as a whole. The only problem is the entire union would have to agree on a specific date, which is not as easy as it may seem.
Last year, the regular season only had 60 games for each team, compared to the usual 162. It is more likely that the organization will want to lessen the normal amount of games this 2021 season as well to ensure that the 2022 season would start at the normal time.
Many players are optimistic about the upcoming season. Kevin Pillar, a free-agent outfielder said “I definitely think guys are comfortable… The blueprint is out there for successfully getting through a season.”
Spring training will be an issue as 15 teams practice in Arizona, the state with the highest rate of new COVID-19 cases.
One thing baseball players are eager to return are the fans. Cody Bellinger said “Man, you will never, ever, take fans for granted again. You realize how much they impact the game. How much fun they make the game.”
According to MLB guidelines fans most likely will be people who have already been vaccinated, medical workers or just any public people who have completed the vaccine regimen, for example.
The MLB has proposed to set back the season by a month, which would make the season 154 games and and also expand the amount of teams in the postseason. While this may seem like a solution for all parties, most of the players are not sold on this and are pushing for the normal regular season and no extended postseason.
It has come out that the Major League Baseballs Players Association has actually declined this proposal. This was unexpected as this proposal was for the better of the players, since they would have a more likely chance of getting the vaccines, more fans in attendance, and equal pay as they would get in a normal season. Many fans were excited about this, as fans would see more teams in the playoffs, and a designated hitter which has been something people have been longing for.
While players are definitely excited about things slowly returning to normal, there is a lot of work to be done and even more arguments to settle before this can become a reality.