There is no plan, can be no plan, until Major League Baseball gains a clearer perspective on which states are containing COVID-19 well enough for games to be played safely in their most stripped-down form, without fans.
Assuming the league even reaches that point, the plan will need to be adaptable, because the coronavirus is unpredictable. The season will look like no other season, featuring not just a shorter schedule, but also one subject to frequent change.
According to sources, officials from at least one team, the Indians, gave their players a “mark in the sand” Tuesday for Opening Day — July 1, the same date former major leaguer Trevor Plouffe had mentioned in a tweet Monday.
The article is behind a paywall and I love Ken Rosenthal's work so am only linking the bare bones, but the gist of it is this: we're inching closer and closer to *maybe* getting something set in stone for when an MLB season will start. We've heard everything from empty stadiums in home cities, to bio-dome type shit in AZ, to different hubs in AZ, FL and TX all the way to no MLB (or any other sport) until there's a vaccine found for this FUCKING virus.
Even though it's [only] May, we are getting down to crunch time for starting a season. Sad, but true. This is what I was told: the players need to be given a 2-3 week heads up (bare minimum) on an official start date for spring training 2.0 as it's been called, which will be followed by the 3 week preseason, followed by the MLB official start date.
That's (bare minimum) 6 weeks until a hypothetical opening day, and that is if there was an agreed upon proposal today. 6 weeks from today is already mid-late June, and we don't have a proposal yet as of today, May 6th. If all of that is proposed and agreed upon 1 week from today, that's May 13th, which would put us at an early July start date, as the article references and Trevor Plouffe referenced last week.
But... none of this even gets into the players', umpires, coaching staffs', and owners' pay cuts. This is going to be a logistical nightmare. If there is too much back and forth between the players and owners on any of the above referenced bullet points, then we push back the season more and more and eventually they will reach a point of no return and have to cancel altogether.
Now we just have to hope that the proposal is fair for all parties and that ink is put on paper ASAP. Once it is, (American) baseball will be one step closer. Nevertheless, it's good that wheels seem to be in motion.