MLB Owners And Players Trying To Figure Out How To Play Games In 2021

The talks to play the season are at hand.  

Under normal circumstances, the business of baseball in December deals with signing players and getting everything ready for the upcoming baseball season. In about two months, spring training is supposed to open for the 30 teams. It appears that there will be no problem getting camps going in Florida as the state has been open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Arizona is probably going to be open for spring training as well. But will that happen? Major League Baseball owners and players are beginning the process of speaking with each other to see if it is possible to get spring training open and then play a 162 game season concluding with the playoffs and World Series. This may not be an easy process. Major League Baseball almost did not have a 2020 season. There may not be a full 2021 season.

Money is going to be a problem. Major League Baseball will have television and marketing money coming in. MLB owners will be able to cash checks from ESPN, FOX, Turner Sports, cable TV operators that partially own the MLB Network and regional sports cable TV networks along with other media platforms.  But there probably won’t be people in the seats when the season starts in many stadiums and that means a loss of money for the owners and players. The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading quickly and while the COVID-19 vaccine is on the way, baseball people, particularly the players will not be among the first people getting the vaccine. The baseball business is not an essential business. Major League Baseball may be able to get people in the ballpark by the start of the 2021 playoffs and that is scheduled to begin in October. In 2020, there was a 60-game schedule and some teams were unable to play games because of COVID-19 outbreaks. COVID-19 is still here.

CORRECTS SECOND SENTENCE – FILE – In this Aug. 23, 2020, file photo, Seattle Mariners’ Kyle Lewis begins his swing on a solo home run against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game in Seattle. Lewis won the AL Rookie of the Year award on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)