Baltimore Orioles fans might not have to wait much longer for news about the 2020 season. Multiple reports came out yesterday suggesting that within the next week the league will submit a return-to-play proposal to the player’s association. It’s unclear what that proposal will entail, however the word on the street is that the league wants to start the season in late June or early July.
First off keep in mind that the players will have to come to terms with the league on some major things, including salary. There are virtually no scenario’s out there which involve fans being able to be admitted to games – at least at first. If situations in certain cities improve over the course of the season, perhaps that could cease to be the case. So the owners are presumably going to want the players to agree to further pro-rated salaries given the loss of gate revenues.
Again, word on the street is that the league will look to start “Spring Training 2.0” sometime during the second week of June or so. It also appears that will be occurring in teams’ home ballparks. So the O’s would be training at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
What’s unclear is whether or not a slate of exhibition games would be included in this “Spring Training 2.0.” If teams are training in their home parks, I would assume that might not necessarily be the case. You might have some teams such as the O’s and Washington, the NY teams, Chicago teams, etc, who might consider setting up joint practices or perhaps the equivalent of NFL scrimmages of yesteryear, however I wouldn’t think teams would be traveling to other teams’ parks to play formal exhibition games. But I could be wrong.
There are all kinds of rumors in terms of how the season will unfold in terms of the divisions, but the most feasible idea I’ve seen is putting the O’s in a division (only for this year) with Miami, Tampa, Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, the NY teams, Boston, and Toronto. Those teams would make up the entire 2020 schedule. But time will tell how that turns out.
And that’s another reason why this is taking longer than it probably should. Baseball can’t just start games up where teams would be have been in their schedule otherwise. They’re going to have to release an entirely new schedule with new dates and new games. It takes awhile to postulate how that’s going to work, and presumably that will be part of what’s rolled out to the players in the next week.