why i think they should cancel the season or play a 82 game season

j-man

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look everyone safety comes first from what i been reading and watching the earliest people can play safely is June/july and while the NBA/NHL couild wait until July u need 3/4 months to get 82 games in

here is how i would sch it u play your Division 76 games useing Boston as a Ex they wouild play MFY 19 Balt 19 Tampa 19 and Toronto 19 plus Philly 6 games

but i think they have to re-do spring training to a degree

i think july 4th wouild be a great opening day with the season ending oct 12th and for this year only only division winner makes the playoffs which means the num 1 seed in each league gets a bye to the ALCS and NLCS which would start on oct 21th with the world series Oct 31th
 

DeadlySplitter

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It's clear social distancing is going to continue until at least July. Which then means August at the earliest after another spring training? And then there's really not enough time before it gets cold in most cities. And that doesn't take into account the likely extra waves of social distancing coming after, if they don't interrupt it at all.

They should get out in front of this and cancel the season outright. There's a decent chance 2021 will be clear enough (not a guarantee).
 

teddywingman

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I wasn't planning to watch this season anyway, because I'm emotionally immature, and I hate the Mookie Betts trade and everything about 2020.

Cancel the season. Sign Mookie in January 2021.

But in reality, there's gonna be baseball by July.
 

Joe Sixpack

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look everyone safety comes first from what i been reading and watching the earliest people can play safely is June/july and while the NBA/NHL couild wait until July u need 3/4 months to get 82 games in

here is how i would sch it u play your Division 76 games useing Boston as a Ex they wouild play MFY 19 Balt 19 Tampa 19 and Toronto 19 plus Philly 6 games

but i think they have to re-do spring training to a degree

i think july 4th wouild be a great opening day with the season ending oct 12th and for this year only only division winner makes the playoffs which means the num 1 seed in each league gets a bye to the ALCS and NLCS which would start on oct 21th with the world series Oct 31th
If they're able to start in July and do what essentially amounts to a half season, I don't think they'd do 76 intra-division games, it's way too many.
 

amfox1

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My working assumption is that there will be no season.

If there was going to be a season, I would look at the following:

Monday, May 4 (six weeks from tomorrow) begins a two-week end-of-quarantine period for MLB/MiLB.
"Spring" training at the end of that period (May 18).
Three-week "spring" training, with actual games scheduled to begin June 8.
If and only if there are no cases among any of the teams between May 18 and June 8, games will begin.
92-game season. All games against division rivals. No games against other league teams. No interleague.

The problem with this working assumption is that, as soon as anyone on any team gets sick, the season is cancelled because that team would have to self-quarantine for two weeks. That's why I believe there will be no season until there is a working vaccine for COVID-19.
 
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simplicio

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Yeah, the delays are wishful thinking. Until an actual vaccine or reliable treatment becomes widely available, nobody's doing sports.
 

InstaFace

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are you... mocking our man's posting style? You realize he has (IIRC) palsy, right? guy's as lucid as you or I, but has trouble typing.

Anyway, I think if we see baseball this year it's going to be in empty stadiums most of the time. But that could absolutely happen by mid season in an optimistic scenario.

If it does reopen that way, I wouldn't want to spend 90% of the season only playing intra-division, I'd just cut down the number of times we play everybody by half. Some opponents, we're only going to get one home series or one away series. Inter-league might end up being squashed. So it goes, but I think that's way more fair than only playing intra-division.
 

Fratboy

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are you... mocking our man's posting style? You realize he has (IIRC) palsy, right? guy's as lucid as you or I, but has trouble typing.

Anyway, I think if we see baseball this year it's going to be in empty stadiums most of the time. But that could absolutely happen by mid season in an optimistic scenario.

If it does reopen that way, I wouldn't want to spend 90% of the season only playing intra-division, I'd just cut down the number of times we play everybody by half. Some opponents, we're only going to get one home series or one away series. Inter-league might end up being squashed. So it goes, but I think that's way more fair than only playing intra-division.
I had no idea. Thank you for informing me, and I humbly and sincerely apologize for my ignorance.

Realistically, I doubt think the season gets played at all, but we might see a wildly unbalanced schedule if only for travel concerns. And who knows about hotels being open and all of the other associated logistics.
 

Plympton91

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They obviously can’t have crowds or public access to anything. They should have continued having major league and AAA players work out, staying 6 feet away from each other (stay out of the dugouts), with their crack medical teams monitoring for any signs of illness. Play intrasquad games every other day to stay game ready.

Then they would have been ready to start the major league and AAA seasons as soon as the quarantine ends. Grocery store workers are going out every day and meeting the public. Baseball players interacting with people in their own controlled and medically monitored bubble at those sprawling spring training facilities (you could even have the recommended 10 or less players/coaches on each field, except for the semi-daily game, for instance) has to be 1000 times safer than that, thus balancing the fact that it’s 1000 times less important.

It’s going to be bad enough that social distancing causes a complete shutdown for several months. It’s going to be a damn shame if the decisions to shutdown means that the economy still misses out on contributions from industries that could have helped drive a SnapBack because they haven’t stayed ready to resume operating as soon as it becomes safe enough to do so.
 

Fred not Lynn

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Realistically, I doubt think the season gets played at all, but we might see a wildly unbalanced schedule if only for travel concerns. And who knows about hotels being open and all of the other associated logistics.
If they’re playing without fans in the park, does there even have to be travel? Might as well just set everyone up one city with a few decent ballparks (probably Phoenix, but maybe there’s somewhere else) and think of each venue as a TV studio.
 

Average Reds

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Dumb question(s) that someone asked me and I did not have an answer to: what happens (contractually) if the season is cancelled?

Do players get paid? More importantly - to me - does the Sox salary cap reset?

I know it’s a small item in the scheme of things, but losing an entire season only to endure a figuratively lost season in 2021 would suck hard.

At least Sale will be close to coming back ...
 

axx

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Dumb question(s) that someone asked me and I did not have an answer to: what happens (contractually) if the season is cancelled?

Do players get paid? More importantly - to me - does the Sox salary cap reset?
Last I saw the owners and the Union were negotiating this. My guess is that the players won't get paid and the contracts will all be tolled.
 

FormerLurker

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The problem with this working assumption is that, as soon as anyone on any team gets sick, the season is cancelled because that team would have to self-quarantine for two weeks. That's why I believe there will be no season until there is a working vaccine for COVID-19.
The only thing that can rescue any business or activity in America in the near future is mass testing. If there is mass testing, and someone gets the virus, the rest of the team does not have to be quarantined because they can be tested right away. And not because they got special treatment, but because tests are widely available enough that any workplace in America can do the same. But I don't see any likelihood that this is going to be true any time soon.
 

mauf

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We’re more likely to see NBA and NHL playoffs than MLB. The economics of the sport are unsupportable without stadium revenues, and I think we all agree there won’t be MLB with full crowds in 2020.
 

InstaFace

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We’re more likely to see NBA and NHL playoffs than MLB. The economics of the sport are unsupportable without stadium revenues, and I think we all agree there won’t be MLB with full crowds in 2020.
You know, I thought this until I researched it for some other post about sport economics a month or two ago. I expected MLB's fraction of in-stadium (tickets / concessions) revenue to be much higher than other comparable sports, and in fact it was lower than the NHL and within range of the NBA. I would have expected the NBA, being the most global of our 4 major sports (thanks be to David Stern), to be meaningfully lower, and of course the TV deals for the NFL are absurd. MLB maybe can't afford 100% of its salary bill playing in empty stadiums, but it could probably afford half of it without a problem.

MLB gate receipts are ~30% of revenue each of the last 4 reported years. Using this article's numbers, once you include concessions it may be more like 37% for in-person revenue.
NHL gate receipts are ~37% of revenue, though down from 42% a decade ago
NBA gate receipts are ~22% of revenue
NFL gate receipts were only 15.5% of revenue in 2018, and including concessions, live revenues are estimated at around 25%.

I think this article explains a lot of that disconnect. For a long time, a much higher fraction of team revenues were gate receipts.
 

mauf

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You know, I thought this until I researched it for some other post about sport economics a month or two ago. I expected MLB's fraction of in-stadium (tickets / concessions) revenue to be much higher than other comparable sports, and in fact it was lower than the NHL and within range of the NBA. I would have expected the NBA, being the most global of our 4 major sports (thanks be to David Stern), to be meaningfully lower, and of course the TV deals for the NFL are absurd. MLB maybe can't afford 100% of its salary bill playing in empty stadiums, but it could probably afford half of it without a problem.

MLB gate receipts are ~30% of revenue each of the last 4 reported years. Using this article's numbers, once you include concessions it may be more like 37% for in-person revenue.
NHL gate receipts are ~37% of revenue, though down from 42% a decade ago
NBA gate receipts are ~22% of revenue
NFL gate receipts were only 15.5% of revenue in 2018, and including concessions, live revenues are estimated at around 25%.

I think this article explains a lot of that disconnect. For a long time, a much higher fraction of team revenues were gate receipts.
To be clear, I don’t think the NBA or NHL would play regular-season games without fans either. It just doesn’t make economic sense unless you can convince players to take huge pay cuts.

The playoffs are a different matter. By the postseason, the players have largely been paid already. And while the leagues might not benefit directly, TV viewership is at its peak during the postseason. It’s also a lot fewer games to schedule, and the same two teams play several games in a row against one another.

I’m not saying we will definitely see NBA and NHL playoffs, but I sure think the owners will try to pull it off. I’m much less convinced that MLB owners are even interested in playing in the current environment.
 

InstaFace

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I wouldn't frame it as "huge pay cuts". I'd frame it as "still get a fraction of your salary, as opposed to nothing because we're not playing at all".

Subject to the union's agreement, they could do something like: All players get 100% of their first million in salary, 75% of their next million, 50% of $3-5M, 30% of amounts >$5M. That probably works out to about 50% of roster payroll, weighted-average, and lowers the impact to the players who can least afford cuts, while not depriving top players of the premium value they've earned either. You might even have room to give your broadcasters a haircut in their fees if viewership suffers and still have the P&L work out roughly the same, proportionally.

"doesn't make economic sense" assumes that everybody insists on getting 100 cents on the dollar, which just isn't the most realistic starting point for this stuff. Whether the players are playing or not, it's a year of their life that they're not going to get back, another year older and closer to being out of baseball. Would they rather play, or not play? From all our combined experience, I think we can assume the players would much rather play than insist that the owners do something fundamentally unprofitable and see if it gets them anywhere.
 

mauf

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I wouldn't frame it as "huge pay cuts". I'd frame it as "still get a fraction of your salary, as opposed to nothing because we're not playing at all".

Subject to the union's agreement, they could do something like: All players get 100% of their first million in salary, 75% of their next million, 50% of $3-5M, 30% of amounts >$5M. That probably works out to about 50% of roster payroll, weighted-average, and lowers the impact to the players who can least afford cuts, while not depriving top players of the premium value they've earned either. You might even have room to give your broadcasters a haircut in their fees if viewership suffers and still have the P&L work out roughly the same, proportionally.

"doesn't make economic sense" assumes that everybody insists on getting 100 cents on the dollar, which just isn't the most realistic starting point for this stuff. Whether the players are playing or not, it's a year of their life that they're not going to get back, another year older and closer to being out of baseball. Would they rather play, or not play? From all our combined experience, I think we can assume the players would much rather play than insist that the owners do something fundamentally unprofitable and see if it gets them anywhere.
Fair points. And say what you will about Manfred, he has enjoyed better relations with the MLBPA than any other Commissioner. It’s not like we’re counting on Bud Selig and Don Fehr to be reasonable.

That said, I think the logistics of pulling off even a partial MLB season are much trickier than staging the NBA or NHL playoffs (though the sport itself allows for more social distancing than those do).
 

McBride11

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Friend suggested fan less season starting May / June. But all teams play at their ST stadiums.
Reduces travel.
Warmer weather (if that matters).
will need some creative league changes for the year - basically FL and AZ are separate leagues - games only against same state teams.

But if we are trying to get 80 games of MLb ball - didnt seem a bad option.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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Friend suggested fan less season starting May / June. But all teams play at their ST stadiums.
Reduces travel.
Warmer weather (if that matters).
will need some creative league changes for the year - basically FL and AZ are separate leagues - games only against same state teams.

But if we are trying to get 80 games of MLb ball - didnt seem a bad option.
Those Arizona stadiums will be brutal in the summer.
 

cornwalls@6

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I’m increasingly making peace with the idea that this season is probably gone. New York, Boston, the California markets, Seattle, Philly, DC, Chicago, etc.; none of them seem likely to be able to support these kinds large public events for many months. Maybe, if we’re lucky, football can be salvaged this year. I also don’t think empty arenas is at all viable or likely.
 

edoug

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you're gonna get 2 sets of paying customers in the door every day? What about weeknights? I hear most nights are weeknights.

You'd also need double the pitchers, not just a few more. Twice the rotation players, and twice (or nearly so) the bullpen arms. You could get away with only a small expanded roster for batters but even your regulars are going to wear down a lot faster that way, shorter season or no. Those constraints can be managed for an occasional doubleheader but for regularly-scheduled ones it'd end up getting wacky.
 

edoug

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you're gonna get 2 sets of paying customers in the door every day? What about weeknights? I hear most nights are weeknights.

You'd also need double the pitchers, not just a few more. Twice the rotation players, and twice (or nearly so) the bullpen arms. You could get away with only a small expanded roster for batters but even your regulars are going to wear down a lot faster that way, shorter season or no. Those constraints can be managed for an occasional doubleheader but for regularly-scheduled ones it'd end up getting wacky.
Not counting rainouts.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, I think the overarching question is 'If it's baseball in 2020, is anyone going to show up?", no matter how they decide to do it.
 

cornwalls@6

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Manfred was just on ESPN with Van Pelt. As you would expect, not a lot of hard information on the season. Hopes to have a better idea by sometime in May, if there is a season, wants to have as many games, and be as representative as possible, but wouldn’t say what minimum number would satisfy that . Doubleheaders definitely on the table, and didn’t really even rule out 7 inning games in those situations. One thing he did say, the investigation into the Red Sox is complete, but given the recent events, they haven’t had the time/resources to produce a thorough, written report yet. He said it will be released before play resumes, whenever that is, but wouldn’t provide any more specific timeline than that.
 
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Lose Remerswaal

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I know there haven’t been many scheduled doubleheaders in many of our lifetimes, but it is one set of paying customers getting two games for the money. And not every day. Just enough so if you have three months to play, you can get 90-100 games in including travel days.

Thirty or thirty three man rosters if that’s what you need. inactive lists, more liberal IL rules. Whatever it takes to get games played and keep players healthy. Change whatever roster rules you need to
 

Gdiguy

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I know there haven’t been many scheduled doubleheaders in many of our lifetimes, but it is one set of paying customers getting two games for the money. And not every day. Just enough so if you have three months to play, you can get 90-100 games in including travel days.

Thirty or thirty three man rosters if that’s what you need. inactive lists, more liberal IL rules. Whatever it takes to get games played and keep players healthy. Change whatever roster rules you need to
I assume the reason to do so many doubleheaders is to (at least theoretically) double the gate receipts; if it's one set of paying customers I'm not sure why they'd bother. It's going to be a short season anyway, completely changing the roster rules in order to have the same gate receipts seems silly. I guess maybe if it's solely to game the contracts for TV in having more 'games', but even then I suspect they're going to have to re-negotiate those contracts this year regardless, and I'm not sure why the networks would go for that plan either

Having 7 or 6 inning doubleheaders as basically standard weekends I can kind of see the argument for (and it's an interesting idea)... but weekdays I don't really see a real benefit (and the only way the TV ratings would be any good for weekday day games all week would be if everyone's still at home, in which case they probably won't be, or at least shouldn't be, playing anyway).

The only thing that can rescue any business or activity in America in the near future is mass testing. If there is mass testing, and someone gets the virus, the rest of the team does not have to be quarantined because they can be tested right away. And not because they got special treatment, but because tests are widely available enough that any workplace in America can do the same. But I don't see any likelihood that this is going to be true any time soon.
You'd still probably need to quarantine the team for 2-3 days is the problem; I don't think we have complete details on 'how soon after being infected do you test positive' and/or 'how long before or after you become contagious do you test positive' (I suspect they're just about co-incidental), but you have to give at least a day or two before testing to be sure. So if you're starting in May (even June), you're definitely going to have cases where entire teams suddenly lose a few days.


Honestly, I think the best strategy is probably to just throw out the idea of a real 'season', and use it as an opportunity to try some different things. Maybe do a new round-robin tournament every month (so if a team has to drop out, it's fine, there's another next month), with the winners playing a 'playoff' round in October. I dunno; I think doing something that doesn't leave flexibility for 'a team plus the 3 teams they've played recently might suddenly have to drop out for a week' is just silly
 

curly2

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Is there's a playoff game, say in Phoenix, say between St. Louis and Washington, is anyone going to show up though?
Not for regular postseason prices. But if you make the tickets affordable, I think you'll get fans in the stands, which would make a better product for TV. And as far as TV goes, I would watch because I love baseball.
 

jon abbey

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Maybe worth a new thread somewhere but this story makes me think sports crowds may never be the same, or should never be the same, dunno.

““We were mid-February so we didn’t have the circumstances of what was happening,” Bergamo Mayor Giorgio Gori said this week during a live Facebook chat with the Foreign Press Association in Rome. “If it’s true what they’re saying that the virus was already circulating in Europe in January, then it’s very probable that 40,000 Bergamaschi in the stands of San Siro, all together, exchanged the virus between them. As is possible that so many Bergamaschi that night got together in houses, bars to watch the match and did the same.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t have known. No one knew the virus was already here,” the mayor added. “It was inevitable.””

 

Devers1stBeer

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I would love to know what Mr. Boras is smoking

Christ, if Mookie gets glossed with the "Mr. December" nickname, I swear I'm giving up on baseball.
And before you laugh this off hear me out:
Contract year for Mookie on a loaded team.
Warm weather city, where you could feasibly play actual baseball in December.
Joe Buck is exactly smugly dumb enough to label Mookie as such, and go home thinking he's ever-so-clever.