I have long thought that the 2021 MLB season would not start on time. This, despite a recent report that managers have been told to prepare for an “on-time” Spring Training. To me, that was simply covering all the bases, so to speak — if somehow the season did start on time, teams would want to be prepared.
Here’s an interesting note from the manager of the Cubs’ biggest rival:
Cards manager Mike Shildt says conversations with his front office lead him to believe that MLB will announce a spring and season timeline just after first of the year.— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) December 18, 2020
“The first of the year” is only a couple of weeks away. It wouldn’t seem to me that we’ll know enough about progress against the pandemic for MLB to announce that everything was going to begin on time.
The wording used in that tweet, to me, implies that there’s going to be some different “timeline” than the one we already have. In other words, if MLB were going to go ahead with Spring Training in late February and the season April 1, why would they have to “announce a spring and season timeline”? We already have one!
Granted, this is still just speculation on my part, and a feeling that MLB owners won’t want to play games in empty ballparks again in 2021, something that’s still possible in certain markets, particularly Chicago, New York and parts of California, MLB’s biggest.
And further granted that owners would have to negotiate with players any reduction in the season schedule.
I still believe we’ll see some changes announced by MLB when this happens “just after the first of the year.”
As always, we await developments.