Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
Sale ends in
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
save over $140
// //

In this Feb. 14, 2020, file photo, baseballs occupy a bucket after use during fielding practice during spring training baseball workouts for pitchers and catchers at Cleveland camp in Avondale, Ariz.

The Associated Press

Major League Baseball has proposed a one-month delay in starting spring training because of the coronavirus pandemic and pushing back opening day to April 28, two people familiar with the plan told The Associated Press.

Under the plan presented to the players’ union on Friday, the regular season would be cut to 154 games from 162.

Also, the playoffs would be expanded to 14 teams from 10, the designated hitter would extend to the National League for the second straight season and MLB would keep the experimental rules for seven-inning doubleheaders and beginning extra innings with a runner on second base.

Story continues below advertisement

All players would report for spring training on March 22, back from the current calendar that calls a voluntary reporting date of Feb. 17 for pitchers, catchers and injured players and Feb. 22 for others.

Opening day would be pushed back 27 days from its currently scheduled April 1, and the regular season would end Oct. 10 instead of Oct. 3. The postseason would extend into November.

The people familiar with the plan spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because no announcements were made. The sides have not discussed the proposal with each other since MLB made it.

The reasoning behind the delay would be to gain time for more vaccinations and better assess the health situation.

Seven teams in each team would make the playoffs, and only the division winner with the best record would receive a bye in the best-of-three first round. There would be a selection show in which the seeded teams would be able to, in order of percentage, select their first-round opponent. The three advancing teams in each league and the one with a bye would advance to the best-of-five Division Series, starting the traditional rounds of the postseason.

While the plan says players would receive 100 per cent of pay if all 154 scheduled games are played, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred would have an expanded right to stop spring training, the regular season or the postseason under certain conditions. Those would be if government restrictions prevent five or more teams from playing home games even without fans, if government rules restrict travel in the United States, if Manfred determines after consultation with medical experts and the union there is an unreasonable safety risk to players or staff or if the number of regular major leaguers unavailable because of COVID-19 undermines completive integrity.

Each team would start with 18 scheduled days off, and each team would be allowed to be scheduled up to 12 split doubleheaders.

Story continues below advertisement

The World Series would be scheduled to end in the Nov. 10 range, with the exact time depending on discussions with broadcast partners.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies