Good morning, Athletics Nation!
Major League Baseball will have a 2020 season after all! The league made an official announcement on Tuesday, with players reporting to camp on July 1 (one week from today) and then opening a 60-game campaign on July 23 or 24. Click here for all the details, including roster sizes, new temporary rule changes, other key dates, and some of the health and safety protocols.
Of course, there is still the threat of the coronavirus pandemic hanging over all of these plans. The situation continues to worsen in many states around the country, and you’d have to imagine that if it gets bad enough then the season could be called off once again, though there’s no official word on where that line might be drawn.
For now, though, cases have already begun to spring up around the league. Over the weekend MLB shut down all 30 spring training sites after multiple teams reported new cases and/or symptoms, and by Sunday there were 40 positive tests among major league players and personnel, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. At least 10 teams were affected, says insider Jon Heyman.
That total grew on Tuesday, as three Rockies players tested positive, reports Kyle Newman of the Denver Post. The players are All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon, and pitchers Phillip Diehl and Ryan Castellani, all of whom had been working out at Coors Field. Newman says that only one of the trio was symptomatic, and that tests came back negative on all other players who had been at the same facility.
The Phillies also announced a few new cases. In addition to the eight they reported last week, further tests revealed four more, bringing the tally to a dozen — seven players and five staffers.
Baseball (temporarily) made it through a bitter labor dispute this summer, at least enough to return to the field, but the virus is an opponent that can’t be negotiated with. Hopefully the safety protocols, both within the league and among the general population, are enough to keep the spread in check well enough for the sport to continue unimpeded and everyone to stay healthy.
“Little doubt Covid is the real threat to the MLB season,” said Heyman.
- Brazil: Bob Melvin, A’s players excited, eager for 2020 MLB season to start
- Watch video: Dave Stewart, Dallas Braden, Brodie Brazil discuss 2020 season
- Bair: 60-game 2020 MLB season attaches asterisk to all stats, World Series
- Kleinschmidt: Examining A’s four biggest questions with possible 60-game MLB season
- Slusser: A’s can get back to work — and they can use the Coliseum ($)
- Slusser podcast: Guest is Art Howe
- Portside podcast: Guest is Ken Korach
- Hickey: Building a Ballpark in an Age of Social Distancing is a Challenge for Baseball Going Forward
- Brazil: Carney Lansford explains how A’s ‘Bash Brothers’ nickname was created
- Hall: A’s sign 3 of their new 2020 draft picks
- Hall: 2020 MLB season officially announced
MLB News, & Interest:
- Press release: MLB announces 2020 regular season
- Castrovince: FAQ: All you need to know about 2020 season
- Stark: What we know so far about the 2020 MLB season – and other new wrinkles ($$$)
- Rosenthal and Drellich: Twelve questions about the return of baseball in 2020 ($$$)
- Hickey: MLB Players and Owners Finally Get It Together to Craft a 60-Game Season Starting July 24-26
- Newman: Charlie Blackmon, two other Rockies test positive for coronavirus following workouts at Coors Field
- MLB: Here’s how every NL team’s DH options stack up
- Kelly: 25 stars who could now be ready for Opening Day
- Justice: 20 reasons to be excited for the 2020 season
- Cooper: MLB Can No Longer Afford To Treat Minor Leaguers Like Seasonal Athletes ($$$)
- MLB Pipeline: Top farm systems: Catchers
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Game on! (Translation: Play ball!)
The deal is done between MLbPa and Mlb on health and safety protocols. Game on— Karl Ravech (@karlravechespn) June 24, 2020
The 2020 schedule
It will be a while yet, a few days at least, before the players sign off on the 2020 #MLB schedule, but we know that #Athletics will play 10 games each vs. #Angels, #Astros, #Mariners & #Rangers and four games each vs #SFGiants, #Dodgers, #Diamondbacks, #Padres & #Rockies.— John Hickey (@JHickey3) June 24, 2020
Extra note on that schedule
Not that they can do anything about it now, but this all “regional” play schedule should shine a big light on how dumb it is the Rangers and, especially, the Astros are in the West. Those won’t exactly be “local” travel trips.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) June 24, 2020
what idiot decided to call it spring training 2.0 instead of summer camp— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) June 24, 2020
Another important question
Genuinely curious to see how this is enforced. Will there be spitspensions? pic.twitter.com/19820xNODr— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 24, 2020
You can’t go to the Coliseum, but maybe you can still be there
Are you ready?!