MLB Considering Radical Ideas To Get Season Started (UPDATE: Arizona/Florida Division Realignment)

canderson

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I like an idea my friend has.

- Start August 1
- Abolish divisions and have every team play one series against every other team in their league. 14 series, 7 weeks to do one full league-wide round robin.
- Top 7 teams advance to playoffs
- Teams 2-7 play three-game series’ as a play-in round, giving the top team a bye.
- Rest of playoffs goes as usual.
 

Melrose Diner

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I don't know how relevant it is in the grand scheme of things because we're still so early in this and who knows what the real numbers are, but it might be worth pointing out that Arizona is doing relatively OK as far as cases/deaths. Latest health department update shows 2575 cases and 73 deaths, Maricopa county, where all the games would happen, has 1433 cases despite Phoenix being 5th highest population city in America
 

PseuFighter

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No idea if any of these ideas have legs. My guess is they do not. But I am happy that they're at least throwing outside the box ideas they'd be hesitant to even, well, throw outside the box during normal times. Maybe we get something new out of this.
 

PseuFighter

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If the owners are serious about this and the MLBPA is "lol no" then I could see them just shooting it down. PA would need to approve any of this, correct?
 

amRadio

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I'm still stuck on the part where a lot of people think it's too much to ask millionaires to spend months away from their family. Lots of people do that for far less than the MLB minimum. Asking the same of minor leaguers is kind of a different situation but still probably fair to expect if they want to be paid after May.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Yeah, but it seems like they are working on these plans together.
I'm not seeing much in way of support from the players, but maybe you've seen different sources than I have. I read stuff like this https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29017716/too-much-iron-players-say-mlb-arizona-plan and it seems like the players are just holding on to see what the owners come up with and then decide if it's acceptable. I don't think they'd need to strike, but I fail to see the owners forcing players into this - it's literally life or death.

I'm still stuck on the part where a lot of people think it's too much to ask millionaires to spend months away from their family. Lots of people do that for far less than the MLB minimum. Asking the same of minor leaguers is kind of a different situation but still probably fair to expect if they want to be paid after May.
Those people generally know that going in and also aren't being sent into an environment of stay at home edicts and quarantines due to a virus. If you don't have any sympathy for them, great for you. I don't expect players to risk their own health, that of coaches and the support staff at the parks, all while being apart from perhaps a pregnant wife or a sick child during a global pandemic, simply so we all have something to entertain us. YMMV.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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I'm not seeing much in way of support from the players, but maybe you've seen different sources than I have. I read stuff like this https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29017716/too-much-iron-players-say-mlb-arizona-plan and it seems like the players are just holding on to see what the owners come up with and then decide if it's acceptable. I don't think they'd need to strike, but I fail to see the owners forcing players into this - it's literally life or death.


Those people generally know that going in and also aren't being sent into an environment of stay at home edicts and quarantines due to a virus. If you don't have any sympathy for them, great for you. I don't expect players to risk their own health, that of coaches and the support staff at the parks, all while being apart from perhaps a pregnant wife or a sick child during a global pandemic, simply so we all have something to entertain us. YMMV.
It's not simply so we all have something to entertain us. It's so they get paid millions of dollars this season.
 

JCizzle

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It's not simply so we all have something to entertain us. It's so they get paid millions of dollars this season.
It's also possible (probable?) that us regular folks will be going back into the office at some point in the May/June/July timeframe, so it's not like MLB players would be the only ones assuming risk at that point. It seems like they're doing it the right way - consulting with Dr. Fauci and experts, planning in advance, reducing risks to the extent possible, etc.

Overall I wouldn't want to force players to do something that they're not comfortable with, but I also don't mind exploring what the future might look like in the coming months.
 
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axx

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Yeah I doubt most business can wait until a vaccine is ready before starting up again, including pro sports. I still question whether it does make sense financially for the owners at current payroll levels without the gate. So regardless of how much gets played this year, MLB payrolls are going to be slashed next year... have to figure the Union is going to be very accommodating.
 

Seels

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These ideas I see are pretty stupid and honestly, I probably wasn't watching this year anyway with carry over frustration from the Mookie trade, but there's no way I'm watching some half assed grapefruit league novelty.
 

grimshaw

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It's also possible (probable?) that us regular folks will be going back into the office at some point in the May/June/July timeframe, so it's not like MLB players would be the only ones assuming risk at that point. It seems like they're doing it the right way - consulting with Dr. Fauci and experts, planning in advance, reducing risks to the extent possible, etc.

Overall I wouldn't want to force players to do something that they're not comfortable with, but I also don't mind exploring what the future might look like in the coming months.
Ya, I was told today that June 1st was the target date for me to return if not sooner, and I'm furloughed for a non-essential service industry job (albeit Maine). If my industry is rolling by then, I'd assume most businesses would be as well. Especially those with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.

It seems like an eternity but we've basically been on high alert for only a month. Two months from now things will be completely different.
 

CaptainLaddie

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I'm still stuck on the part where a lot of people think it's too much to ask millionaires to spend months away from their family. Lots of people do that for far less than the MLB minimum. Asking the same of minor leaguers is kind of a different situation but still probably fair to expect if they want to be paid after May.
Just checking: are the camera guys also making millions? And the clubbies? And the guys who have to take care of the fields? And the trainers?

GTFO with this idea. This whole thing stinks and sucks if they're seriously considering a May or June 1 start date. It's insane.
 

lexrageorge

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Not sure any of these ideas are insane. MLB is going to be presented with a lot of bad options to safely save the season, and that's assuming there's any viable options at all (there may not be). May 1st isn't happening. But it does make sense to explore these options now, as the reality is that we'll have far more information in May and June than we do today about the likely track of this pandemic. Just the serology testing results alone could be a major factor in how this plays out.
 

johnmd20

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Just checking: are the camera guys also making millions? And the clubbies? And the guys who have to take care of the fields? And the trainers?

GTFO with this idea. This whole thing stinks and sucks if they're seriously considering a May or June 1 start date. It's insane.
Yeah, fuck those guys, why would they want a chance to actually work in what seemingly would be a safe environment? Better to sit at home and just worry about things like money and bills and food. Much better.

You're always a beacon of light and sunshine and you never take a dump on new ideas. It's never with an edge, it's always soft and stated with nuance. You're always looking for the solution, it's admirable.

And on the Fauci thing, he could actually mean what he said. Because, you know, Fauci has been pretty great when it comes to expressing his thoughts. Maybe he, you know, sees some promise in this idea. Alternatively, he's just full of shit. I'm going to go with Door 1 there.

Keep on fucking that chicken.
 

axx

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I will say that I have to give MLB credit for trying to come up with something rather than just give up and cancel the season.
 

amRadio

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Hah. SOSH would wince and cry about the idea of people actually doing difficult work to earn a living. Sometimes people work away from their families. Not you distinguished gentlemen, of course. Don't worry, nobody is going to ask you to leave Waban.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Hah. SOSH would wince and cry about the idea of people actually doing difficult work to earn a living. Sometimes people work away from their families. Not you distinguished gentlemen, of course. Don't worry, nobody is going to ask you to leave Waban.
A. WTF do you know about anyone here?
B. What is your so noble career?
C. If you think so lowly of the people here, then why are you, ya know, here?
 

jon abbey

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Let's all take it down a notch and stick to the actual discussion, we're all stressed and no one wants to be banning people in the midst of this.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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I saw an article where Zach Wheeler said because he and his wife are expecting a baby this year he will refuse to play under the isolation scenario which brings up an interesting point. It's unlikely the players can be forced by contract to participate in a scenario where they are effectively held as prisoners, so each player will compete at his own discretion. Those with a tenuous hold on MLB will play, but the guys with big contracts might not. It could end up being one step up from the XFL.
 

Wingack

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I saw an article where Zach Wheeler said because he and his wife are expecting a baby this year he will refuse to play under the isolation scenario which brings up an interesting point. It's unlikely the players can be forced by contract to participate in a scenario where they are effectively held as prisoners, so each player will compete at his own discretion. Those with a tenuous hold on MLB will play, but the guys with big contracts might not. It could end up being one step up from the XFL.
I imagine those that refuse to play will not get paid and why should they?
 

snowmanny

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I would imagine you would lose service time if you refused to play.

Ed-wouldn’t accrue, not would lose
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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Bingo. They obviously can't be forced to play, but no way they will get paid if they don't.
For sure they wouldn't be paid, but there would be no other consequences. Some posters have been saying the players union might not be agreeable to the proposed plan, but what I'm saying is that each player can make his own choice.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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If Gerrit Cole refuses to play for the Yankees this year, the Steinbrenners should not have to hand over $36 million dollars to him, especially not when they are already going to be under financial strain because of no attendance at the games.
Was Cole going to get $36M for a partial season? It would still be a large number, but owners are likely to want a reduction because of lost gate revenue and a decrease in TV network income.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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For sure they wouldn't be paid, but there would be no other consequences. Some posters have been saying the players union might not be agreeable to the proposed plan, but what I'm saying is that each player can make his own choice.
No accrued service time is another meaningful consequence
 

InstaFace

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For sure they wouldn't be paid, but there would be no other consequences. Some posters have been saying the players union might not be agreeable to the proposed plan, but what I'm saying is that each player can make his own choice.
Seems pretty reasonable to me to offer players the chance to play, and let them decline if they're not comfortable with it and come back in 2021. No harm no foul. Whether contracts will toll (one year off the clock, or just roll over so a 2020-2023 deal becomes a 2021-2024 deal, or not) will be a sticking point, but I can imagine the union agreeing to a "play and get paid, or don't play and don't get paid only get paid the ML minimum" type deal.

These ideas I see are pretty stupid and honestly, I probably wasn't watching this year anyway with carry over frustration from the Mookie trade, but there's no way I'm watching some half assed grapefruit league novelty.
If it's major leaguers wearing my laundry playing against other major leaguers and taking it seriously for some stakes, I'm watching. If half the roster is AA/AAA, I'm still watching. If it's all low-minors guys, yeah, I'll probably find something else to do, but upper-minors players are still incredibly good at baseball.

I still think they ought to do the barnstorming tour of the nation's beautiful-but-humble ballparks.
 

Trautwein's Degree

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No accrued service time is another meaningful consequence
At some point labor and ownership interests align. With no incoming revenue and MASSIVE overhead the house of cards can come crashing down on everyone. MLBPA certainly understands this. It probably hasn't occurred to many players that they could become creditors in bankruptcy and their contracts aren't worth the paper they are printed on. But certainly agents, and MLBPA lawyers will make that point crystal clear to them.

Not to mention they will become pariahs. Nurses are risking their lives, soldiers deploy for a year - neither make 6 figures - and Gerritt Cole can't be bothered to pitch in Arizona once every 5 days for a few months?
 

lexrageorge

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At some point labor and ownership interests align. With no incoming revenue and MASSIVE overhead the house of cards can come crashing down on everyone. MLBPA certainly understands this. It probably hasn't occurred to many players that they could become creditors in bankruptcy and their contracts aren't worth the paper they are printed on.
Agreed. Noone is going to come out of this 100% whole, and there will be players that have specific concerns like Wheeler that will have to be addressed. Both the league and the union will need to give by an amount that will make both feel uncomfortable. But given the other option is no season at all, it seems likely that they will make an honest attempt to bridge the gap.
 

Trautwein's Degree

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Agreed. Noone is going to come out of this 100% whole, and there will be players that have specific concerns like Wheeler that will have to be addressed. Both the league and the union will need to give by an amount that will make both feel uncomfortable. But given the other option is no season at all, it seems likely that they will make an honest attempt to bridge the gap.
The other thing here is these players given their ages and conditioning aren't really at risk of hospitalization or death. If they get it they probably have a fever for a few days. The much bigger issues is MLBs old fan demographic and parks like Fenway where you sit on top of the guy next to you. And there are constantly 7 to 10 people with in a 6 foot radius of you.

It seems unlikely they will have to be locked down 100%. Especially if they aren't all packed into a clubhouse, dugout, bus, etc.

If you are going to restart the economy in waves - having young and healthy athletes working is low hanging fruit.
 

JCizzle

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It's linked elsewhere, but the NBA is also brainstorming ideas of how to reopen using a 25 day ramp up period to actual games. They won't make any decisions until May. That gives them two weeks to come up with ideas, a week to evaluate them in early May, another week to figure out the logistics, then the 25 day period that leads to launching the concept in mid-June or early-July. It doesn't seem outlandish to me and that time period probably works for MLB as well. My guess is that two-weeks from today, the concept of going back to work in a month won't be totally crazy as it sounds today.

 

crow216

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I like that some of the proposals include some things that fans have wanted to see anyhow regardless of the current world plight: An automated strike zone, limited mound visits, and hearing more player interaction.

If baseball pulls this off, it could dramatically improve the sport and add millions of new fans.

Also - they could broadcast from 8-10am pacific time as well. They don't have to be late night. Zero competition from anything else.
Make no mistake about it, there is a part of this proposal that is meant to test the waters on your above 3 scenarios.
 

Wingack

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It's linked elsewhere, but the NBA is also brainstorming ideas of how to reopen using a 25 day ramp up period to actual games. They won't make any decisions until May. That gives them two weeks to come up with ideas, a week to evaluate them in early May, another week to figure out the logistics, then the 25 day period that leads to launching the concept in mid-June or early-July. It doesn't seem outlandish to me and that time period probably works for MLB as well. My guess is that two-weeks from today, the concept of going back to work in a month won't be totally crazy as it sounds today.

NBA is a little trickier, these guys are constantly rubbing up on each other.

PGA is looking at plans to get back going again, and I think they will be able to do that relatively quickly.
 

ifmanis5

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Passan: MLB is engaged in a big antibody testing study which might open up the season sooner...
View: https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1250174092751376385

BREAKING: Major League Baseball is participating in a massive coronavirus antibody study, with up to 10,000 tests taken nationwide over the next two days. Researchers hope the results offer a far better understanding of coronavirus' spread. News at ESPN: https://es.pn/2ykpUJx

"MLB did not partner with us for any selfish reason to get their sport back sooner," Eichner said. "They jumped in for public health policy. That was their intention and their only intention."
Yeah right.