We’ve all seen the Major League Baseball proposal from this week, right? The one that would essentially start the first week of July and be roughly half of a season, then have an expanded playoff and be over by the start of November? Well, the Major League Baseball Players Association still hasn’t quite gotten the full proposal from MLB as the two sides continue to meet this week, so it hasn’t even been voted on yet – but on Friday there were a few “outsider” proposals, too.
JJ Cooper of Baseball America weighed in with a proposal that he thought was intriguing that could work for both the owners and the players. Cooper’s plan would be for a 44-game regular season with a 20-team playoff. As he says in the article, “Is it radical? Absolutely. Is it ideal? Not a chance. Is is the best from an array of bad options? Maybe.” He later notes that maybe the regular season could be expanded for 60 games instead of 44. He lays out why it could make sense (monetarily) for both sides a little bit, but also notes that there’s still a lot more than money stuff to be figured out and negotiated between the two sides.
But it’s not just us baseball writers that are coming up with ideas on how to possibly move forward with a 2020 season for Major League Baseball. Bryce Harper, one of the most known players in the league, had some ideas for how a season could look if he were in charge and shared them on Friday as well. It’s a lot different from the plan that Cooper proposed above.
He laid it out in an instagram post, and it certainly gets wild. The season would start in July and run through mid-November, playing 135 games. Each team would get an off day every two weeks on a Monday. Sunday would be “double header” day consisting of two 7-inning games (you may or may not know this, but in minor league baseball when there are double headers the games are both 7-inning affairs – players are used to this format).
Harper continues, noting that rosters would be 30 players. He also brought up the idea of 6-man rotations, if the pitchers wanted that, and that there would be a universal designated hitter. For the playoffs you get a 10-team round robin tournament, College World Series style, at a neutral site with 3-game series. Winners move on, and the losing team faces off against another losing team in a 1-game scenario where you win and advance or lose and the season is over. The World Series would be a normal best-of-7 series. Between the round robin tournament and the World Series he proposed a 2-day “break” where MLB would host the All-Star game and Home Run Derby.
His plan would also lead to a pushed back start of the regular season to May 1st next year (likely so players still get the amount of rest required between seasons to reduce injury risk the following year), and then in 2022 a start date of April 1st.
The two plans are both a bit at the extremes. But it was an interesting look at how different ideas are out there from just about anyone and everyone. What are your thoughts on the plans? Do you have a totally different idea of how to do things that could be feasible?