The Major League Baseball and the Nippon Professional Baseball, which were held back by the COVID-19 pandemic, have started discussion on season opening details such as an open date and season operating rules.
The Major League Baseball intends to open the 2020 season early July with empty stands, U.S. sports media “The Athletic” reported on Saturday. Compared to a regular season of 162 games per team, the 2020 season is expected to consist of 78 to 82. As part of its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, the MLB adopts a division-based matching method by which the East, Central, and West Divisions each have 10 teams to play intra-division games. It was previously reported that the 2020 MLB draft was reduced from 40 to five rounds.
The MLB plans to discuss further details with club owners at conference calls. Once an agreement is reached among owners, player unions will be briefed on meeting results. It is expected that the reduced number of games for the season will trigger conflict between the MLB and player unions regarding additional pay cuts.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball is scheduled to open on June 19. Rather than playing a full 143-game season, each team has 120 games to play. The Japan series starts on Nov. 21 with two weeks of delay. It is highly likely that this year will skip annual events such as the interleague play, the all-star game and the climax series. The current season schedule has been decided on condition that the state of COVID-19 emergency in place is lifted later this month.
After the Taiwanese Baseball League returned with vacant stands on April 12, it is allow 1,000 fans per game from Friday.
Hong-Gu Kang email@example.com