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Clark: No 2020 MLB game plan yet presented to players

Major League BaseballThough there are multiple plans floating around out there regarding a potential start of the MLB 2020 season, one key player required to make any plan work hasn’t yet consented, much less presented with specifics: the players association.

There are currently three plans addressing an MLB 2020 season launch: one with all play taking place in Arizona; one with teams dispersed in Arizona, Florida and Texas locations; and one with teams playing out of home ballparks under a limited schedule. All three call for play in empty ballparks, at least to start, and all three plans call for teams to conform to local and federal guidelines regarding gatherings and social distancing. In addition, the plans call for regular testing and limited staff and support workers at games. The Arizona and Arizona/Florida/Texas plans call for players and staff to basically be sequestered in hotels; the home-ballpark plan allows for players to stay at home.

There are pros and cons to each plan, both for MLB and for players. However, any plan should have the consent of the players association, and so far no plan has been presented, says Tony Clark, head of the players’ union:

Despite all that has been floated and all the rhetoric that is out there, we have not received anything formal that details an actual plan….Unless or until we see and receive an actual proposal with a plan or plans—because my guess is there’s going to need to be flexibility in whatever is going to be considered—it’s all assumptions. It lends itself to the uncertainty because there’s a lot of ideations, but not any substance behind them just yet.

I don’t know that there is a definitive plan yet. We continue to engage our experts to best appreciate a number of the logistics and challenges associated with playing in this climate, in this atmosphere. Unless or until we receive something and are able to work through it, anything out there is just a best guess at this point.

We want to play. As players, we want to play. As these ideas find their way into mainstream media, there are some ideas that seem to make sense, there are others that don’t track very well. All of them are being viewed against the backdrop of getting back on the field and affording our guys an opportunity to do what they love to do. At this point, it’s unfortunate that there are things that keep finding their way into the conversation and are being represented as proposals when they aren’t.

Part of the conversation as of late: a June start to training camp and a July 1 launch to the season. This may not be as new as the Twitterverse thinks—a July 4 season launch date was floated a month agobut reports indicate MLB is prepping a plan to present to players in the coming week, though there are several details to pin down.

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