Just when everyone thought that baseball, America’s Pastime, was bringing us back to normalcy, monkey wrenches are being thrown everywhere. Some with Training camp opening around March 15th and season on May 1st and 162 games, some double headers and may be some 7 inning games if necessary. Others with Spring Training starting in late March and shortened so that the Season would start in late April with 154 games and Universal DH, Double headers at 7 inning games and extra innings start with runner on 2nd, or basically pro softball. If they play 154 games, the players will get paid for 162 games. That is a big if. As it is posed right now, Training camp will start mid-February with 1st press on games at end of the month. West Coast teams who use Arizona as their training camps are concerned due to health concerns and still increasing cases of Covid in Arizona.
The players don’t like scenarios from either pool but the players are leaning towards the first one. Their main concern is that by agreeing to a delayed preseason, it may be misconstrued by commissioner Rob Manifred as enabling him to truncate the season and therefore the players salaries. The owners are saying that they will put into writing that they will do everything possible to play 162.
It is clear that most of Professional Baseball do not want the Bells and Whistles in both leagues. Most fans 40 and older, the ones who buy tickets for themselves and family, don’t want it either. Having a difference in the leagues is like the age old ice cream question, Chocolate or Vanilla. The options with setting up both leagues with Universal DH and other things takes away the choice and flavor of the individual league. Also the choices from that pool give Manifred more leeway to play with the number of games in the season.
The way I feel this will play out is; the players will get what they want. They are the key element that people forget about. They are not 12 year olds playing in a sandlot. These are grown men playing a great game by putting out 100% each time out. The game cannot go on without the players. That is something that is too often forgotten.
In the end the Players want it to go back to the way it was, unfortunately we all want that in every aspect of our lives but it probably won’t happen.