MLB Proposes Health Rules for Shortened 2020 Season

Teams would only face opponents in their own division and the same division in the other league

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

After a week of discussions between Major League Baseball owners and the MLB Players’ Association, much of the debate about when and if to return to the diamond in early July seems to mostly center around money with owners asking players to take pay cuts beyond prorated salaries and players believing the discounts they’ve already taken — along with the risks involved with returning to the game — are plenty fair.

“There’s a long history of owners and players clashing over financials,” said Dallas Morning News reporter Evan Grant. “There’s a long built up mistrust on the players' side. It’s not surprising to me that this is where they’re at financially at this point. I think that’s going to be workable.”

Workable, and potentially in a very different work environment.

The Athletic reports MLB sent players a document detailing proposed safety rules for the anticipated upcoming season, requiring players to wear masks when not in the field, use of new baseballs every time one is put in play, and prohibiting spitting, among other things.

As for the breakdown of how games would be played, teams would only face opponents in their own division and the same division in the other league, putting the Rangers in an 80 or 82-game season against only American League West and National League West opponents, which could present extra challenges.

“You would be talking about a minimum of 30 games on West Coast time, potentially 32 games, that’s more than the Rangers had scheduled in their 162-game schedule this year,” Grant said. “So, it would be a difficult travel schedule for them compared to the rest of the league.”

A difficult schedule that could be lightened by offering longer homestands for Texas, as Major League Baseball continues to try to iron out the details – including potential money disagreements – in a possible return to the diamond now more than 50 days after it was scheduled to begin the 2020 season.

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