The Cincinnati Reds are going to have a season. Get excited. The Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball have agreed to show up on July 1st for “spring training 2.0” and play a 60-game schedule according to Bob Nightengale.

This isn’t quite the time frame that was originally planned for, with the initial hope to be getting things going for the regular season by July 4th. Three weeks late, but it’s happening.

There’s been plenty of rumors and speculation on what rules would be implemented into the 2020 season. We’ve heard about extra-innings beginning with a runner on second base – a rule that’s been in place in the minor leagues for several seasons now. We’ve also heard about the designated hitter being in both leagues and pitchers being allowed to carry a wet rag to the mound with them since they can’t lick their fingers before going to the ball in order to better their grip. And as of now, it’s still uncertain exactly how the schedule is going to be set. All of that stuff is going to come out in short order.

For now we know this much: The players and the owners are going to do what they can in order to play baseball games starting in about one month. Players are going to be arriving in their home cities a week from today (or sooner) to begin spring training 2.0. Exactly how that’s going to work isn’t entirely known, either. One team, the Phillies, are expecting to actually hold their workouts at two different places – one in Philadelphia and the other at their Triple-A site just down the road in Lehigh Valley (70 minutes from Citizens Bank Park) according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia as a way to split up the team and hopefully keep the spread of COVID-19 down.

All teams were told to find a place within 100 miles of their home site for the taxi squad to practice once the season begins. The Cincinnati Reds have not made any announcement of where they would hold that, though as I wrote recently, Dayton’s Day Air Ballpark where the Dayton Dragons play may be the most ideal place given it’s location and existing infrastructure for development. Other options could be Louisville Slugger Field where the Triple-A Louisville Bats play, as well as options like the Urban Youth Academy in Cincinnati that has multiple fields or perhaps the ballpark used by the Florence Y’alls about 15 minutes south of Great American Ballpark if it were going to be available.

Now the most important question: Given the weirdness of this season, no fans being allowed in the stadium – will the Cincinnati Reds still be given the “home opener”?

Update at 9:20pm ET

Everything has been agreed to and the above article has been updated to reflect that the previously mentioned “health and safety” issue that was remaining has been agreed to.

Update at 9:35pm ET

Major League Baseball has released the following statement:

Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. announced today that Major League Baseball anticipates beginning its 2020 regular season approximately one month from today, on July 23rd or July 24th.

The announcement follows confirmation today that the MLB Players Association has accepted the health and safety protocols that will guide MLB’s return to play and that players will be able to report for training by July 1st. The health and safety of players and employees will remain MLB’s foremost priorities in its return to play. MLB is working with a variety of public health experts, infectious disease specialists and technology providers on a comprehensive approach that aims to facilitate a safe return.

MLB has submitted a 60-game regular season schedule for review by the Players Association. The proposed schedule will largely feature divisional play, with the remaining portion of each Club’s games against their opposite league’s corresponding geographical division _(i.e., East vs. East, Central vs. Central and West vs. West)_, in order to mitigate travel. The vast majority of Major League Clubs are expected to conduct training at the ballparks in their primary home cities.

Commissioner Manfred said: “Major League Baseball is thrilled to announce that the 2020 season is on the horizon. We have provided the Players Association with a schedule to play 60 games and are excited to provide our great fans with Baseball again soon.”

38 Responses

  1. Jefferson J Reed

    I doubt the Reds will get a separate day for their opening but I hope the Red’s opener will start first over all other openings on the same day in recognition of baseball’s oldest franchise.

    • Doug Gray

      They definitely aren’t getting their own day, but will they keep the first game of the season in Cincinnati?

    • MK

      They have not had the first game since the days of Marge Schott. Doubt it is even a consideration any more. Imagine everyone starts and plays the same days

  2. Mark

    Will all 60 games be televised is my question?

    • Mark Moore

      Right … do we get MLB.tv with no blackouts? I’m in North Carolina so I’m only subjected to Nats and O’s territory. Since it would appear neither of them are on the docket, I may get all 60 games (if the price is right).

      • Doug Gray

        I’m sure all games will be televised.

        Odds that blackout restrictions are lifted? Slim and none would be my guess.

  3. Mark Moore

    Just saw as of an hour ago that the final Health & Safety item has been nailed down. Inching closer …

    • Wayne Nabors

      You bring up good point,mlb.tv takes mine out automatically at the end of feb,need to chk and see if I get partial refund

      • Mark Moore

        My usual is to cancel and then restart at Father’s Day when they run a 50% off special. I’m figuring they will do something like that this year. I’ll just have to be patient and see how it plays out.

      • Colorado Red

        I always sign up for the veterans discount, about 69 for the season.
        Hope it is around 30 this year.

      • CallowayPost

        Colorado Red,

        I’ve been using my veterans discount now for about 3 seasons, I don’t think it’s been offered much longer than that, I could be mistaken.

        They already took out the amount at the usual February time. Wonder if those who have already paid would get some kind of credit to shop or for the 2021 season.

  4. Bromleyjake

    The optics are going to be quite weird when baseball season runs into the football season and people see that they are allowed to watch the NFL in person but not baseball.

    • Doug Gray

      Something about counting chickens before they hatch feels like it applies here.

      • MrRed

        Especially in regard to the reality that the eggs may not even be laid. Nothing is guaranteed in terms of sports being played in 2020. If the pandemic gets worse or there’s an outbreak in a league, all bets are off.

      • Bromleyjake

        Doug,

        I’d love to hear more about your ideas on public safety concerns vs civil rights. I’m sure you would have a lot to add to that discussion.

        Or alternatively, maybe you could just stick to blogging about baseball and avoid the temptation to let your love for nanny state policies bleed through in your work.

      • Doug Gray

        I’ll let you avoid the temptation of responding on this website ever again and politely tell you to go read about Cincinnati Reds baseball somewhere else with those enormously brave beliefs you’ve got.

    • Bromleyjake

      Mr. Red,
      I did speak for myself. If you keep playing lap dog maybe Doug will take you on a trip to Dayton. He’s a big boy. If he wants to be condescending then let him speak for himself.

      • MrRed

        Nice retort. You clearly have problems following simple dialogue.

      • greenmtred

        Nanny state? How do you feel about curfews and martial law in times of civil disturbance? How about the draft? How about drunk driving laws?

  5. Klugo

    Could they let 30% capacity in the stadiums? Is that realistic?

    • Doug Gray

      Right now, no, it’s not realistic anywhere except for I believe Texas, who is allowing fans into professional sporting events if they can meet the guidelines set. I believe up to 50% capacity was the number.

      • Jon

        Honestly, why shouldn’t fans be permitted into an OUTDOOR stadium in a reduced capacity situation? Theme parks, movie theaters, and churches are all allowed to be open here in Ohio, as are restaurants. If MLB stadiums had open seating to allow social distancing, what’s the difference?

      • Doug Gray

        I mean if you want me to be honest: Those places shouldn’t be allowing groups of people, either.

        But, it’s not my decision to make. The person who gets to make that decision here in Ohio, and the people who get to make those decisions in many of the other states around the country have said that sports are likely to be one of the last things we’re going to be opening up to paying customers, and here in Ohio Governor DeWine has said that he doesn’t expect it to happen anytime soon.

      • Bromleyjake

        Doug, frankly no one cares what you think should be open or not open. People are asking legitimate questions about how and why those determinations were made by MLB. If you don’t have information about their rationale, just say that. Its possible that others aren’t as concerned about their immune systems as you are.

      • MrRed

        Speak for yourself, Bromley. It’s his website and we are encouraged to give our opinions. Doug was asked a question and he gave his answer. If you don’t like it, take a hike. If you want info on why certain stadiums or leagues are not letting fans in attendance, go look it up. Lots of info out there.

      • Doug Gray

        Well, Jake – the question was asked in response to ME, so I gave MY opinion.

        And then I also gave the reason why I don’t believe it’s going to happen based on what the people who have opinions on the matter who also get to be the same people that make the decisions on the question are saying.

        Sorry that you didn’t like the answer, but I gave both my opinion on why, and answered the question with facts about why it’s not happening right now in nearly every state – because the people in charge of the decisions have said that they don’t think it’s healthy to do so. And, well, it’s your last sentence that’s the reason we don’t get to go to games right now, too. If more people actually cared about their immune system, and mine, then we’d probably be a whole lot closer to being able to go to sporting events than we are. Instead…..

      • greenmtred

        The point, of course, is that if you–BromleyJake–go to a ball game and contract corona virus, it doesn’t affect you alone. It affects anybody with whom you come in contact, potentially.

  6. CI3J

    Well, there it is.

    It’s going to be fascinating and a little surreal to watch. But more than anything else, I hope the players stay safe. Hoping for the best.

  7. BigRedMike

    Glad baseball might return. At least this blog might talk about the Reds instead of posts supporting the players and bashing the owners.

    As Trevor Bauer noted, the players really messed this whole thing up.

    Hope all the Reds players stay healthy and ready to watch them play. Wonder how many of the pending free agents decide to sit this out

    • Doug Gray

      And as nearly everyone else noted: The owners really messed this whole thing up.

      • IndyRedsFanb

        Tony Clark is the guy who messed this whole thing up. From the very beginning when he wouldn’t even talk about revenue sharing….instead choosing to start calling the owners names even before the negotiating began.

        The players shot themselves in the foot by turning down the last proposal. Even Trevor Bauer said so!!

        The Players union has harmed the players in the short term, and will lead to even further harm in the long term.

      • Doug Gray

        Trevor Bauer has said a lot of things that aren’t exactly true. There were some good things in that last proposal that was turned down. But there were some not-so-good things, too.

  8. Tom Mitsoff

    I’m allowing myself to believe this is going to happen now. 🙂 The COVID precautions certainly will need to be open to revision and reconsideration based on unexpected things that happen. I can’t wait! I know it will probably go askew in more ways than one, but as long as health concerns are always the primary consideration, I am glad the owners and players are making an attempt to play a season.

  9. CFD3000

    This still feels like a missed opportunity with plenty of blame on both sides. Those extra three weeks could have meant an 81 game schedule. But this is certainly better than no baseball at all. Let’s hope the health protocols actually work. Can’t wait. Go Reds!

  10. ClevelandRedsFan

    MLB announced there will be what is basically a COVID DL list. Players must have two negative tests before coming off.

    • Charlie B

      I really hope this goes well and everyone understands the risks the players are taking. The 1919 Stanley Cup during the Spanish Flu pandemic is a bad precedent. Google Joe Hall and Stanley Cup if you’re unfamiliar. Yeah it was a different virus and long ago, but he was an elite athlete in his prime.