Detroit Tigers: MLB Owners Sign Off Plan For July Baseball

(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

What should come as no surprise, MLB owners approve a plan to start the season in July. Here’s how it breaks down for the Tigers if the MLBPA approves the plan, which will be presented tomorrow.

Per the AP story that was published this afternoon, MLB owners approved the plan that was discussed a few days ago to start baseball in July.  ‘Spring training” would kick off in June according to sources familiar with the decision that spoke to the Associated Press.

The Tigers would play 82 games with games against AL Central teams with interleague matchups only against NL Central teams. The last time Detroit played only NL Central teams was in 2012. Depending on how what medical experts from the government say, the games would be played at an empty Comerica Park with the idea that at some point down the line, fans, perhaps in a limited amount, could attend games.

Another factor to consider: Local officials in Detroit and Michigan Gov. Whitmer would have to sign off on it.  I would think that since that could bring in revenue for the city and state, and if it is safe to do so, they would approve a plan that would allow fans to go. So far, no details were announced in the story.

The reason why I mentioned the fans coming to games factors into what the revenue split between the owners and players would be. Per the AP story:

“Teams will propose that players receive the percentage of their 2020 salaries based on a 50-50 split of revenues MLB receives during the regular-season and postseason”

If fans cannot attend games due to the concerns of another outbreak of the virus, that would severely impact the revenue of the owners and the percentage that would go to the players. If you recall back in March, players have already agreed to a reduction in pay based on whatever the 2020 schedule would look like and $170 million was set aside to pay players who were on the 40-man roster. The key date to remember when the funds were coming to an end is on May 24th before they would reexamine the situation so I can see how the sense of urgency has put into place to get this deal done.

The deal is hinging if there are no travel restrictions in place and if mass gathering restrictions have been lifted. Commissioner Rob Manfred would also have the backing of medical experts and testing ready in place, which is one of the chief concerns among the players and rightfully so. Even after the story that came out yesterday than less than one percent of MLB employees tested positive for the COVID-19 antibodies (0.72% to be exact), keeping the virus at bay should be the main concern.

Rosters would expand from 26 to 30 with an addition of 20 players similar to the NFL’s “taxi squad” so there is a more than likely case there will be no minor league baseball this season. The post-season would expand from 10 to 14 teams.

With the way 2020 has played out, I would not mind if the Tigers even did some harmless flirting for a post-season spot. I think it would give us all something to smile about among one of the strangest years on record.