The 2020 MLB Season: When and Where
The relatively new commissioner of Major League Baseball hasn't made too many friends since he took the reigns back in 2015. He's made a few controversial changes to the game including: adding timers between batters and innings, implementing new slide rules at second base, and just recently made it mandatory for pitchers to either face three batters or finish an inning before being taken out. He has made these changes in an effort to speed up the game and hopefully make it more mainstream amongst other sports.
At the same time, there has to be a level of respect for the game and how it was intended to be played. There are a lot of fans who aren't happy with the changes he's made simply because he's messing with perfection. The great fans of baseball love it for what it is. Making unnecessary changes in abundance will only make die hard fans angry.
Regarding the MLB being shut down because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Manfred came out on Wednesday, June 17 and said that it's very likely there won't be a 2020 MLB season. The fact that he would even come out and announce this to the world has infuriated fans and even players.
Numerous big leaguers have been outspoken about their frustration with Manfred. One of the most notable players is Trevor Bauer of the Cincinnati Reds. Trevor has a pretty successful YouTube channel and he uploads videos talking about the current state of the MLB quite often. He actually met with Rob Manfred in early April to discuss possible action plans for getting the season underway as quickly as possible. He said they had a good conversation but weren't able to come to any conclusions.
We're seeing the same thing between Tony Clark (Head of the MLB Players Association) and Manfred. The players association has proposed a few different options of a possible season to the commissioner and he has declined them all. The most recent proposal coming on June 18 was for a 70 game season. If that's getting declined, it doesn't seem like there's much hope for a season at all, seeing that 70 games would already be shortening the season by almost 100 games.
In the early stages of the suspended 2020 season, major league baseball announced that the players' salaries would have to be cut in half in order to make the season happen. These potential pay cuts have only gotten bigger as the suspension has become longer and longer. Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays shared very strong, uneasy feelings about taking such a huge pay cut. He said that taking such a huge pay cut and going out on the field risking injury and possibly contracting COVID-19 is just not worth it.
Some fans may be thinking - Where did the love of the game go? Believe me, I thought the same thing when I first heard his comments. When you put yourself in his shoes though, he makes some good points. In 2019, Snell signed a 5 year, $50 million deal. He was slated to make $7 million this year. While it's mind boggling to think someone could be so unhappy about making less than half of that, it's the same as us average Joe's losing half of our salaries in a year. He earned his contract and he wants to get paid, so I think you have to respect that.
Following Manfred's announcement that an agreement is not likely, many players took to social media to voice their outrage. Players shared their thoughts on the situation and ended their posts with #whenandwhere to send a statement to the commissioner.
Players who participated include: Mike Trout, Javier Baez, Bryce Harper, Pete Alonso, Blake Snell, Max Scherzer, Gary Sanchez, Andrew McCutchen, and more.
I think it was necessary for Rob Manfred to feel the pressure coming straight from the players instead of the fans or even the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association). Everyone wants baseball back, so Manfred needs to make it happen!
In The Meantime
What are some things us die hard baseball fans can do while we wait for the season to start?
A number of MLB players have started streaming MLB The Show on Twitch and that's been pretty entertaining to watch. Some players have YouTube channels, I highly recommend checking out Trevor Bauer, he provides some entertaining content.
MLB Network plays re-runs of games every day so those are something to consider watching. However, you can only watch so many old games before the hunger of a new season starts to take over.
Don't lose hope! Hopefully the MLBPA and Rob Manfred can come to their senses and realize how much this great game means to so many people not only in the United States but in the world!
Derek Dietrich Facing Trevor Bauer
What Do The Fans Think?
Do you think the MLB will have a season in 2020?
© 2020 Jake Narey