MLB returns without fans with a 60-game slate

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher  

Major League Baseball kicked off their season on Thursday night. There were only two games.  

However, on Friday, the league — which had their season halted for months due to the coronavirus pandemic — will kick off their first full slate of games. Due to bickering back and forth between MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA President Tony Clark, baseball fans will only see a 60-game slate instead of the normal 162-game schedule.  

Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman fields a ball in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox
Alex Bregman fields a ball in the third inning against the Boston Red Sox

The teams will play 60 games over 66 days. The regular season will go from July 23rd through September 27th.  

The playoffs are slated to begin on September 29th. The World Series will begin on October 23rd and if the two needs need seven games to play the series, like in 2019 between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals, the final game of the season will come on Halloween night.  

Unlike the NHL, NBA, and Major League Soccer, these teams will not play in a bubble. However, the teams will have a reduced travel schedule. The odds are already out in several sites for the new MLB season.

Despite the agreement to play, there have been players, who have elected not to play due to the seriousness of the virus. The players, who refuse to play, are not receiving their prorated salaries, or credit time, which will impact their free agency future.  

The virus has also caused problems for the Toronto Blue Jays. Canadian officials will not allow the lone Major League Baseball in Canada to play in its country.  

As a result, the Blue Jays will be adopted into the United States for this season. However, at this time, after the Pennsylvania Health Department blocked to move to play at PNC Park, the home of Pittsburgh Pirates, the team is still looking for a home venue – just days before their July 29th home opener against the Nationals. 

The first game of the new season was a rain-shortened game that was eventually called due to inclement weather. The New York Yankees defeated the defending Champions, the Nationals, 4-1, in six innings at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.  

Then, in the night cap, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Francisco Giants, 8-1 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. 

There will be 14 games on Friday. The Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets will kick off the action at 4:10 pm from Citi Field in Flushing, New York. 

The Giants and the Dodgers are the only teams from the first day of action to also play on Friday. The two teams will play again at 9:40 pm EST.  

The Yankees and Nationals will return to the field on July 25th after having the day off on Friday.  

With the shortened season, this is going to put a lot of pressure on teams. The managers will have to manage differently, because if a team gets involved in a losing streak, they could potentially lose their entire season, as it could put them too far back in the standings. 

There will be surprises as teams, as this shortened season could potentially benefit the younger teams compared to the older teams. As a result, we could see new teams making the playoffs. 

It’ll be an interesting see how the season pans out. We’re just getting started on an interesting journey that will come to an end in October.  

Play ball! 

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