The Future of Major League Baseball

The+New+York+Yankees+vs+the+Houston+Astros+in+2016+Opening+Day.+

Getty Images

The New York Yankees vs the Houston Astros in 2016 Opening Day.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Major League Baseball (MLB) has had some major hits to its industry. One main issue that is getting a lot of attention in the baseball community right now, is how will the MLB start a season again in a safe manner? Shelter-in-Place orders have forced many public areas to close so everyone can remain safe. How will the MLB take precautions to keep their players safe as well as the people that attend those games? Ideas have ranged from 1 to 3 city plans and from biodomes to locking the players in hotels unless they are required to play. “I think it’s incumbent upon us to turn over every stone to try to play the game in 2020 if there’s any way we can in the environment,” states Rob Manfred Commissioner of MLB in an interview with regards to how MLB is starting a season.

As a result of no games, players will experience severe pay cuts, and they will have service time. The MLB needs to find a way to pay the service, as well as provide salaries for players. This also makes it so teams aren’t making enough money because fans are not coming to the ballpark and television deals are not coming in. 

So far they have proposed three different ways the MLB could play. The first plan of action is called the Arizona plan and the second plan of action is called the Two City Plan. This is where they would play in the states of Arizona and Florida. This plan is probably the second to least likely plan to happen. Last but not least, the Three City plan would mean that the players of the MLB would play in Arizona, Texas, and Florida. This plan would work better because you could watch games due of the time changes. It would also make it better to televise for the same reason. There is another idea that has not been thrown out there yet. The gist of the idea is that all of the MLB teams would go to their Spring Training sites and would play there until they are allowed back in their own ballparks. 

The details for this plan are pretty straight forward. You have all of the teams fly out to their Spring Training facilities and start up a second Spring Training. They could have a very limited amount of fans and they could only get up for certain things like bathroom breaks and water. There would be no food sold at the parks to help keep the possible spread down. Once the teams are allowed back into their own ballparks they would begin to start to play their regular season there. This last detail would depend strictly on the states requirements. All of the players could bring their families if that is something they need. They would stay in hotels close by and have certain people go get their groceries. The games would still be nationally televised as well. The divisions would stay the same as they are in a normal season. This idea has not been publicly put out yet, but the main goal with all of the ideas is to get baseball started again. No matter if fans are allowed in the stadiums or not.

Earlier this morning on May 11, 2020, CBS Sports posted an article about a new plan for the MLB’s 2020 season. This alternative plan has been approved by the owners of the MLB and was submitted to the players union this month. There would be 82 regional games, a 30-man active roster with a 20-player taxi squad, 14 teams in the postseason with home games played in October, as well as a 50/50 revenue for players and owners. The teams would play in their own ballparks and would have a little less than a month of a Spring Training to help them warm up. 

Overall, this new plan that was proposed on May 11, 2020, seems to be the safest as well as most productive plan. Plans like the two-state plan, the tri-state plan, and the Arizona plan don’t seem to be the most likely plans to be put into phase for the MLB. This new alternative plan has already been approved by the owners of the MLB and was submitted to Players Union in May. This big industry needs a big plan to give people entertainment, but also keep their business going. What plan would you choose for this billion dollar industry, to produce revenue as well as entertainment, safety, stability, for its fans?

Major League 3 State Plan 

Major League 2 State Plan

Major League Single State Plan

82 Game 14 Team Playoff Plan

Rob ManFred’s Quote