MLB proposes delaying start to April 28, cut to 154 games
By admin - February 1, 2021
Major League Baseball has proposed a one-month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the highlights:
- Opening day will be on April 28.
- The regular season would be cut from 162 games to 154.
- The playoffs would be expanded from 10 teams to 14, the designated hitter would extend to the National League for the second straight season and MLB would keep the experimental rules for seven-inning doubleheaders and beginning extra innings with a runner on second base.
- All players would report for spring training on March 22.
- Opening day would be pushed back 27 days from its currently scheduled April 1 and the regular season would end Oct. 10 instead of Oct. 3.
- The postseason would extend into November.
- Seven teams in each league would make the playoffs, and only the division winner with the best record would receive a bye in the best-of-three first round.
- While the plan says players would receive 100% of pay if all 154 scheduled games are played, Manfred would have an expanded right to stop spring training, the regular season or the postseason under certain conditions.
- Each team would start with 18 scheduled days off, and each team would be allowed to be scheduled up to 12 split doubleheaders.
- The regular season would be compressed to 154 games in 166 days from 162 games in 186 days.
- The World Series would be scheduled to end in the Nov. 10 range, with the exact time depending on discussions with broadcast partners.
- As part of the plan, owners would guarantee a postseason players’ pool of 60% of the gate of the first two first-round games plus $80 million for the remainder of the postseason, matching the 2019 pool.
- Players previously rejected a proposal teams made Jan. 5 for expanded playoffs in exchange for extending the DH to the National League.
- No fans were allowed during the regular season last year, which because of the pandemic started July 23 rather than March 26. About 11,000 fans per game attended the NL Championship Series and World Series, both played at the neutral site in Arlington, Texas.
- In a deal for expanded 16-team playoffs in 2020, MLB guaranteed a postseason players’ pool of $50 million.