MLBPA chief Tony Clark reiterates players want 2020 season, says league hasn’t presented proposal


Though concerns have been raised by some prominent players on certain aspects of the multiple potential restarting plans being floated in public, the message from baseball players continues to be that they want to play — in whatever shape and form — a 2020 Major League Baseball season. Many have said so on social media and many directly to members of the media. We’ve yet to come across a player who hasn’t said he wants to try to play this year.

MLB Players Association director Tony Clark reiterated as much to ESPN on Tuesday: 

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.  

Clark did caution that none of the ideas that have been reported on have been formally presented to the players by the owners/MLB, however: 

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.   

This all lines up with everything we’ve been hearing. Major League Baseball is continuing to discuss any and every plan possible, but it still doesn’t know exactly how things are going to unfold. Knowing that, of course the league hasn’t presented a formal plan to the players for approval. Why submit something when you aren’t sure what it’s going to be? 

When MLB does come back, it’s looking more and more likely to be a “let’s get crazy” situation. We’ve heard all kinds of things, such as seven-inning doubleheaders, a universal DH, realigned divisions, automated strike zones so the umpires can social distance, etc. The works. 

Jon Lester of the Cubs was recently on ESPN 1000 radio in Chicago and said those plans are fine … but only for 2020. Via Bleacher Nation: 

“If you’re talking about this season and this season only, in order for us to play, then yeah, we have to make some adjustments to things if they want to get in as many games they possibly can,” Lester said. “I think we have to alter some things.

“I’ve heard talk about the robotic umpire behind home plate – hey, if we’re playing, then great. We’ll do what we need to do, make adjustments as far as this year …. I think we all have to make exceptions for us to be able to get in games this year if we want that to happen. That’s OK with me. I just want to play baseball.”

But Lester cautioned, of course, that after this year, he hopes things would go back to the “old way,” as far as umpires and game length and ties.

Well said. Consider me Team Lester! 

It’s good to hear the players are ready to go and support nearly any means necessary to play. All indications at this juncture is the league seems to be shooting for Opening Day in early July. The situation remains fluid, however. 





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