Today was finally the day. June 23, 2020 was the day when the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball got on the same page. The announcement was simple, play ball. Now that we have that out of the way, what does it all look like?
We're going to have a 60 game schedule, and that means that each team will play 40 games against their traditional division with another 20 coming against the geographic counterpart from the other league. Minnesota gets the NL Central which included just one team breaking the 90-win plateau in 2019, and two finishing below .500.
There's going to be a significant amount of rule changes or modifications. The regular season will run from July 24 through September 26. Below you can find a bulleted list with a link to each report:
- Universal DH
- Runner will begin on 2B to start the 10th inning. Runner will be final out from the inning prior.
- Taxi squads can consist of up to three players, but one must be a catcher.
- COVID-19 specific injured list
- Transaction freeze ends Friday 6/26 at 12pm ET
- Teams will utilize players from a 60 man pool submitted by Sunday 6/28 at 3pm ET
- August 31 trade deadline
- Players not on 30 man roster (which will be trimmed to 28 and 26) will be at an alternate site
- Taxi squad players will not accrue service time or be paid MLB wages
- Postseason eligibility requires being in an organization by September 15
- Arguing within six feet could result in suspension
We already know there will be no fans. We already know that this entire thing could go up in flames if safety protocols don't end up keeping the virus in a manageable state. What we also know for the first time since March is that there will be baseball. Despite months of horrible public disparagement from both sides, it's once again the game that will attempt to unite us.
This is a season the Minnesota Twins were looking forward to. Names like Josh Donaldson and Kenta Maeda have made their way onto a roster coming off 101 wins a season ago. Sure this is a difficult calendar to compare statistically across previous years, but every single organization is in the same boat now. The goal is still to win a World Series, no matter how different the journey to get there may be.
There's certainly less nuance in a 60-game sprint than there is in a 162-game marathon, but the importance of every outing just got ratcheted through the roof. If you want the feel of a one-game Wild Card for the next three months you've got it. Buckle up because this is going to be something like we've never seen before.
We've got a week until teams begin Spring Training 2.0 in their home ballparks, but it's official, Play Ball!