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Sunday, July 5, 2020

MLB playoff games could be held at neutral sites

Rob Manfred

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have reached an agreement for how to proceed with a season that has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Players and owners settled some potential issues over salaries and service time, with the main sticking point for players being that they will receive credit for service time in 2020 even if the season is shortened or canceled. However, salaries will be prorated in the event that either happens. Both the players and owners want to play a 162-game season and are still hoping to do that.

The agreement could lead to some significant changes with the fan experience as well. While details will not be finalized until a resumption date for the season is set, both sides agreed to the possibility that the regular season could extend into October and postseason games could be played at neutral sites. The playoff field could also be expanded, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

There is still some uncertainty about whether or not games will be played in front of empty stadiums. Neither players nor owners want that to happen, but ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that it remains a possibility.

MLB is hoping the regular season can begin in early June, which is around the same time Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said the NBA is eyeing for its resumption of play. Of course, there are many people who have been far more pessimistic about when sports will be able to return.

With an agreement in place, MLB and the MLB Players Association have at least answered some questions during an incredibly uncertain time.

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