MLB is going to discuss its plans for a 2020 season with owners on Monday, before hopefully submitting a final proposal to the MLBPA on Tuesday which will hopefully detail the final blueprint for baseball this year.
It sounded like the three 10-team divisions idea had a lot of traction and was going to be the final proposal, but these plans feature a different schedule which still minimizes travel for teams. In this proposal, the season will be around 80 games, featuring mostly intra-division games in addition to games against the same division in the opposite league — the Braves, for example, would play the NL East and AL East.
I, like most people, was down with the idea of having different divisions for a year, but this is actually most of the same teams that would have been in the 10-team divisions anyway — with a few exceptions. This plan also still has as many teams as possible playing in their home ballparks — albeit without fans — with some possibly moving to their spring training sites or other ballparks if their states are not able to host games.
The biggest difference from baseball seasons in the past would be the largest playoff field we've ever seen in MLB, with 14 teams getting into the Postseason.
The Athletic — Under this plan, the team with the best record in each league would receive a bye in the wild-card round and advance to the Division Series. The two other division winners and wild card with the best record would face the bottom three wild cards in a best-of-three wild-card round.
I wouldn't be thrilled if this became the permanent playoff field, but letting a couple more teams in during a season which won't produce as convincing results as a 162-game season would, I'm ok with it.
As I'm sure is the sentiment from nearly everyone, I want whatever gives us baseball this calendar year. Maybe this proposal isn't perfect, but we're not going to get anything resembling perfect under these circumstances. Just bring Major League Baseball back.
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