Per Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that if there is a 2020 MLB season, the season — including both the regular season and the postseason — should end in September before a second wave of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) hits the U.S. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said, “If the question is time, I would try to keep it in the core summer months and end it not with the way we play the World Series, until the end of October when it’s cold. I would avoid that.”
Of course, the idea of a 2020 season at the moment seems farfetched given the inability of MLB ownership to make any concessions towards the MLB Players Association — which already agreed, back in March, to salary cuts in the form of pro rata salaries — in order to facilitate getting games underway. Commissioner Rob Manfred went from saying a week ago that MLB will “100%” having a season to yesterday claiming he was “not confident” in having a season.
According to The New York Times, Florida, Texas, and Arizona set records on Tuesday for the most cases of the novel coronavirus in a single day. California has also seen a surge in cases. Still, Fauci said, “I think the chances of there being less of an issue in the end of July and all of August and September are much, much better than if you go into October.”
As Shaikin notes, MLBPA chief negotiator Bruce Meyer thinks the owners’ desire for fewer games and a season that ends sooner rather than later is a cost-containment mechanism rather than genuine concern for the players’ health. Some players — Sean Doolittle and Anthony Rizzo among them — also expressed skepticism about the timing of an Associated Press report on Monday that said several MLB players and staff tested positive for COVID-19.