The Baltimore Orioles sent out a release yesterday to the general public with a few details of the 2020 season. Much of it we already knew, but now it’s on paper. Keep in mind however that as is the case with society, baseball’s in a fairly precarious state in 2020. All things are fluid and subject to change at the drop of a dime.
Training camp will begin on July 1st, which if you’re keeping score at home is next Wednesday. It will be held at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It will probably consist of mostly workouts, drills, and scrimmages. However the team might schedule an informal exhibition game or two against another team. Presumably that other team would be either Washington or Philadelphia.
The formal season schedule needs to be agreed upon by the league and the player’s association. That should be done within the next week. One thing we do know is who the Orioles will be playing. Of the sixty games, forty will be against the regular AL East opponents. The remaining 20 will be against the NL East – Miami, Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, and the New York Mets.
When the season begins teams will be allowed to have a 30-man roster. Two weeks in that’ll go down to 28, and two weeks after that (the “midpoint” of the season) it’ll go down to 26. It’s expected that there’ll be a 10-day DL, but also a separate list for players who are ineligible due to Coronavirus.
What’s not addressed is the admission of fans. I don’t know this for a fact, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see MLB do something similar to what the NFL is planning on doing, which is to leave it up to the teams and local governments. Again to be clear, I don’t know that. It’s just a prediction.
The Orioles have been mum on this issue as well. However Maryland is seeing daily drops in it’s infection rate. So if there’s a team who might be in a position to admit fans to home games, the Orioles would be a candidate. This isn’t to say that every seat would be available for sale, as I suspect social distancing measures would have to be in place. But I do think there’s a way it could be done safely. How many people are willing to come to games given the health situation is another story. But time will tell.