The Major League Baseball organization, after offering a proposal to the league’s Players Union which would have delayed the start of the season by a few weeks, has decided that they will instead start on time.
The MLB initially offered a 154-game schedule which would have started in late April, along with changes including a universal designated hitter and the playoffs expanding from 10 to 14 teams.
However, the Players Association decided not to accept these changes due in large part to the fact that pitchers have already begun “ramping up” in preparations for the season, and also what they perceived to be enhanced powers for Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Despite the potential benefits of delaying the season, including potentially lower COVID-19 case rates and wider vaccine distribution, which would have made outbreaks less likely, the players simply decided that the offer wasn’t up to par.
“We do not make this decision lightly. Players know first-hand the efforts that were required to complete the abbreviated 2020 season, and we appreciate that significant challenges lie ahead,” said the MLBPA in a statement.
They later concluded: “We look forward to promptly finalizing enhanced health and safety protocols that will help players and clubs meet these challenges.”
Expect players to begin reporting to Arizona and Florida for Spring Training just a few weeks from now.