The MLB owners have approved an 82 game season that would start July 4th weekend. It will now be up to the players union to approve the idea as well. Of course, there will be a few issues to iron out. The main issue being money and the safety for players and their families while Covid-19 is still a factor. This will take a week or so to probably come to fruition, but until then, let's take a look at what a possible shorter season could look like. Come on, it could be fun!
-An 82 game season with regional divisions facing each other (ex: AL/NL East) that would include a universal DH: The season obviously has to be shortened for the fact that a full 162 game season starting in July would have the season end in December, which isn't plausible. This allows enough of a season where the top teams should be able to separate themselves from the pack. The universal DH is actually a great idea, mainly because you can test it for an 82 game season and possibly sway owners and players in the next bargaining agreement to make it permanent. For now, the universal DH is a great way to lower the risk of pitchers getting injured.
-30 Man Active Roster w/ 20 Man Taxi Squad: In any season injuries are expected. The rosters being expanded was a no brainer to throw in. Teams can't be sending guys back and forth between Triple A, not at the time we are in. The expansion of rosters helps deal with those injuries that may put a guy on the 10-day IL. The taxi squad would be used as an extra pre-caution. It will be minor leagues who can come up and be ready to play. This is only possible since the minor league season is all but cancelled at this point. Overall, a move that makes sense, it sucks for those guys in the minor league looking to move up and get closer to the bigs, but safety and health comes first.
-Expanded Playoffs: Here is how it would work......
+Teams with the best record in each league get a wild card round bye.
+Two other division winners and top wild card team host all games of three-game series in wild card round.
+Two other division winners get to pick their wild card round opponents. The other two wild cad teams are paired up.
It makes sense to have this be the playoff format since the MLB was already planning on making this switch in the near future. The playoffs being expanded for a short season is the only logical move anyway. A lot of teams are going to start off slow, not ideal with only 82 games. Why not give an extra team a spot? It's weird circumstances already, let's just go all in.
-Revenue Share: This. This is where the biggest issue is going to come from in negotiations. Owners and players will figure out a strategy to try and keep everyone healthy and safe. It's the money that is going to be the biggest hurdle in this whole thing.
Owners are going to whine that money needs to be cut due to the shortened season. Players are going to be like tough, it's a season, we get paid what we're suppose to for it. This is where the cleats are going to be dug in. There will be no gate or concession stand revenue. The gift shops will be closed. Money that owners could use towards salaries will no longer be there. Of course, most owners could pay the salaries and not bat an eye, but have you ever seen a millionaire or billionaire give up their money willingly? I certainly haven't. There is where the problem will be. The MLB doesn't do revenue sharing. It's different than the NBA and NFL in that case. Therefore, the details and negotiations are going to take some time to figure it all out and make EVERYONE happy.
I'll be honest, if they don't have the players union and owners come to an agreement in the next two weeks I will assume no season will be had. I hope that's not the case, because I love baseball, and I can't keep getting up at 5 am to watch the KBO. I love bat flips, but I don't love early mornings.
Fingers crossed it gets worked out. If not, welp then I guess we will all just have to wait until February next year when hopefully pitchers and catchers can report.