MLB says there are plans underway of resuming training at their regular season ballparks if it will be possible to play this year. It will be unusual as the teams are used to spring training in Florida and Arizona.
The regular season was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic that is still affecting about 210 countries. So far, coronavirus has affected over 3.3 million people with a death toll of over 237k. Even though the COVID-19 numbers keep rising, there are some recoveries. Recoveries numbers have now surpassed 1 million people who are free from this deadly virus.
However, that decision to use ballparks is yet to be officially announced by MLB team executives. But such a move can be driven by the desire to save both time and money. If spring training was to happen, then it was expected to last about three weeks before the start of the shortened regular season.
MLB players using home ballparks won’t be needing hotel rooms and per diem when they go for Spring Training 2.0, a move that saves money. Also, it will save time required by players to keep on traveling back from spring training sites as they await the start of the regular season.
But such a move doesn’t only come with the advantages of saving time and money. MLB club executives say there are some disadvantages because the teams will be using only one field instead of six at their spring training sites.
Another drawback is that playing in ballparks would limit some teams from playing intrasquad games during the three weeks, especially those located outside of two-team cities. Also, some teams might find it challenging to access ballparks because of weather uncertainty.
According to club executives, the COVID-19 pandemic requires specific safety and medical concerns that would limit the traveling parties. That would insinuate that coaching, training, and video staff attending the spring training at ballparks would be reduced for road games.
The only possible way to have the Spring Training 2.0 going on, as usual, is to control the coronavirus pandemic through the release of an effective vaccine by our able medical researchers and scientists.
Also, MLB has hinted at a move to modify its collective bargaining agreement to prepare for a possible season. The negotiations are expected to take place by this weekend, and its between MLB and the umpires’ union.
MLB wants to adopt a 35% cut from the umpires, if and only if, the regular season is played. They have also said that full bonuses will be released to players selected to work postseason games.
The umpires have been paid since April, and if the regular season is not resumed and no agreement is reached, then they won’t be paid. MLB wants to save more money through this agreement and also through the use of regular-season ballparks.
If that’s possible, then they will be able to pay all their game-day workers, who are the heart and soul of the game, as they are the only people most fans interact with at every event.