MLB Commissioner 'Hopeful' Coronavirus Success Season to Begin
THE ANGELS: Major League Baseball ( MLB ) commissioner Rob manfred He said Thursday that he is hopeful about concerns about the coronavirus Financial and pandemic considerations can be overcome and the 2020 season allowed to move forward.
Speaking on CNN in a 'Global Town Hall', Manfred insisted he was optimistic that MLB and players would come to terms and open a season that was due to start on March 26.
MLB has pitched a reopening plan to the MLB Players Association that would see play begin in July, with strict protocols in place to screen for COVID-19 and prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
The union reportedly declined at the suggestion that players further reduce salaries from the prorated salary rates already agreed in April for a season expected to be shortened to around 82 games per club.
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell said Wednesday that he was concerned about potential long-term health damage if he contracted COVID-19, and said he wasn't interested in assuming that risk for a lesser amount of money.
It's not worth it, Snell said. I love baseball and that, but it's just not worth it.
But Manfred said he believed the clubs and players would come to an agreement.
Every time there is a discussion about economics, people publicly characterize it as a fight, Manfred said. Personally, I am very confident that we will come to an agreement with the players' association that it is safe to go back to work and solve the financial problems that need to be solved.
Manfred said loss of the entire season would be devastating for MLB clubs.
We are big business, but we are seasonal business, Manfred said. Unfortunately, this crisis started at the lowest point for us in terms of income. We hadn't started our season yet, and if we didn't play a season, losses for homeowners could be close to $ 4 billion.
Manfred confirmed that MLB has suggested a return to play in empty stadiums in July. Players and others involved in the games would be subject to multiple COVID-19 tests with supplemental tests for virus antibodies.
He said MLB expects test results to be available in 24 hours in partnership with the lab that conducts baseball's drug testing. Those testing positive would be removed from their teams and contact tracing instituted.
Daily temperature and symptom checks would also be in place, he said.
Nothing is risk-free in this company, Manfred acknowledged. We are trying to mitigate that risk with repeated point-of-care testing to ensure that people who have had contact have not been exposed, and by obviously removing people who have a positive test, they will be quarantined until they have two negative tests over a 24 hour period.
Manfred said that any player who is not comfortable with the measures would not be forced to return.
We hope we can convince the vast majority of our players that it is safe to return to work, he said.