MLB hopes for a month-delay to start the 2021 season

So far, what we know about the 2021 MLB season is that it’s right on schedule. Spring training is supposed to start on February 25th, and the regular season will take off on April 1st.

However, and very much like this past whole year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, things could and will probably change, as MLB’s main goal for the season is to try to bring back fans to the stadiums. It would be great news for fans of course, but even greater for teams and the league in general, because we all know by now that all sports leagues in the world have suffered major losses since 2020, when the pandemic hit and changed everything as we know it.

So, why is this MLB’s sudden interest in delaying the season?

The right answer is the Covid-19 vaccine. We all know that the vaccine is out and it’s starting to be applied in different segments of population in different countries, depending on age, risk-levels, job description, and so on. The United States is one of those countries that is already applying it, and with Joe Biden now in charge, the plan is to get people vaccinated as soon as possible.

With this in mind, the MLB is proposing a month delay for the season, but so far, it hasn’t been accepted by the MLBPA, and apparently, it won’t, at least not before a little renegotiation. The proposed date is March 28th for Spring Training, while Opening Day would be pushed back to April 28th. It would be a 154-game long season and we would have extended playoffs again, just like last year. However, the expanded postseason would include only 14 teams, and not 16 like the 2020 season.

Most importantly, the MLB’s proposal suggests that the players will be paid their full salaries for the season, even though it would be a little bit shorter than normal, which is just the right thing to do.

With this proposed format, there would be some 7-inning double-headers scheduled throughout the regular season, the extra innings tiebreaker would stay in place, and the Universal DH hitter rule would also be included in the deal.

In the end, the Players’ Association is looking out for their best interests, and they feel that the owners would get much more out of an extended postseason than the players would, and this is basically why they rejected the initial proposal. However, it does not seem like something that couldn’t be worked out soon.

Remember, the 2020 MLB season was a much shorter, 60-game regular season, with extended playoffs, but in that case, salaries were adjusted, as the number of games changed drastically. However, in this case, for the 2021 season, the proposal sticks a lot more to the regular season format, and we just hope we get to enjoy it as much as possible. The goal remains the same, get fans back to stadiums, and for the looks of it, we could be very close to achieving that.

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