The union rejected requests to delay the season.
The shortened Major League Baseball season of 2020 was a decidedly weird affair for everyone involved, including players, managers, and fans. While it was definitely a good idea in the long run to reduce games in the interest of pandemic safety where possible, it sparked a lot of problems and questions about salaries, labor, advertising, and lots of other business-y subjects. Apparently, players want to ensure that this year’s season is as close to normal as possible, even if not everyone’s in agreement on that.
According to a statement released by the Major League Baseball Players Association last night, the league made an offer to them to delay the start of Spring Training and the 2021 season Opening Day by about a month. This would shorten the overall season to 154 games, requiring multiple double header games from various teams. The union did not find this notion especially agreeable.
“The MLBPA Executive Board and Player leadership reviewed and discussed the owners’ proposal throughout the weekend and today,” their statement read. “The clear-cut result of these deliberations is that Players will not accept MLB’s proposal, will instead continue preparations for an on-time start to the 2021 season, and will accept MLB’s commitment to again direct its Clubs to prepare for an on-time start.
“We do not make this decision lightly. Players know first-hand the efforts that were required to complete the abbreviated 2020 season, and we appreciate that significant challenges lie ahead. We look forward to promptly finalizing enhanced health and safety protocols that will help Players and Clubs meet these challenges.”
Major League Baseball plans to start on time.
Camps scheduled to open Feb. 17.
Opening Day scheduled for April 1.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 2, 2021
The League promptly responded with a statement of their own. “In light of the MLBPA’s rejection of our proposal, and their refusal to counter our revised offer this afternoon, we are moving forward and instructing our Clubs to report for an on-time start to Spring Training and the Championship Season, subject to reaching an agreement on health and safety protocols. Our 2020 season taught us that when the nation faces crisis, the national game is as important as ever, and there is nothing better than playing ball. We were able to complete a 2020 season through Herculean efforts and sacrifices made by our players, Club staff and MLB staff to protect one another. We will do so again, together, as we work towards playing another safe and entertaining season in 2021.”