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MLB has made a new proposal to the players’ union for the 2021 season, with expanded postseason.
Spring training report dates are still scheduled for February right now, but the exact details of the 2021 season are still up in the air. Will there be universal DH, as there was in the short 2020 season? Unlikely, but still not 100 percent clear. Will there be a full 162-game regular season? Will there be expanded playoffs again?
On Friday, according to Yahoo!’s Tim Brown, MLB made a new proposal to the union. It includes a 154-game schedule, with full pay, pushed back a month but extended by a week. It also includes expanded postseason, and the union is considering it.
But, as Brown reminds, the union has already rejected an expanded postseason. They also rejected the universal DH as part of that proposal.
Let’s hope MLB and MLBPA get it together soon
Essentially the only differences between the new proposal from MLB, and the one the MLBPA rejected, is eight fewer regular season games and a later start that will push the World Series into November by design (won’t that be fun if a team in the Midwest or Northeast reaches it? Snow games?!). As Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal noted, the “expanded postseason” is two fewer teams than last year.
Even with eight fewer games, a compressed schedule that starts in late April under this proposal will surely include doubleheaders, probably of the seven-inning ilk we saw last season. The extra-inning tiebreaker rule, with a runner starting on second base, will probably remain too.
When it’s all said and done, at least in term of number of regular season games, the 2021 MLB season will be something resembling a full, normal season. Anything else, while interesting or better in some cases, is extra.