MLB to start on time after players reject delay
By admin - February 2, 2021
It seems Major League Baseball will proceed with an on-time start to spring training and the season after players rejected a plan Monday night to delay reporting by a more than a month. Here are the highlights:
- “In light of the MLBPA’s rejection of our proposal, and their refusal to counter our revised offer this afternoon, we are moving forward and instructing our clubs to report for an on-time start to spring training and the championship season, subject to reaching an agreement on health and safety protocols,” MLB said in a statement. “We were able to complete a 2020 season through Herculean efforts and sacrifices made by our players, club staff and MLB staff to protect one another,” MLB said. “We will do so again, together, as we work towards playing another safe and entertaining season in 2021.”
- MLB proposed to the players’ association on Friday that the start of spring training be pushed back from Feb. 17 to March 22. The move would delay opening day from April 1 to April 28 and that each team’s schedule be cut from 162 games to 154.
- Under the proposal, each team would have been allowed to be scheduled up to 12 split doubleheaders. Experimental rules for seven-inning doubleheaders and beginning extra innings with a runner on second base would have continued for a second season.
- As part of the offer, MLB included the expansion of the playoffs from 10 teams to 14 and extending the designated hitter to the National League for the second straight season, a plan the union rejected Jan. 6.
- Bruce Meyer, the union’s director of collective bargaining, called deputy commissioner Dan Halem on Monday to inform him the proposal had been rejected.
- Meyer responded Monday night that the union will not make any more proposals, that the union did not believe MLB’s plan was designed to protect health and safety, and that players expect MLB to tell teams that it intends to start spring training and the season on time, the person said.
- “The MLBPA executive board and player leadership reviewed and discussed the owners’ proposal throughout the weekend and today,” the union said then in its public statement. “The clear-cut result of these deliberations is that players will not accept MLB’s proposal, will instead continue preparations for an on-time start to the 2021 season, and will accept MLB’s commitment to again direct its clubs to prepare for an on-time start. We do not make this decision lightly. Players know first-hand the efforts that were required to complete the abbreviated 2020 season, and we appreciate that significant challenges lie ahead. We look forward to promptly finalizing enhanced health and safety protocols that will help players and clubs meet these challenges.”