Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday when it comes to the 2020 season, they’ll be “lucky” to play 60 games because of the recent spike in coronavirus cases.
“The reality is that we’re going to be lucky if we get 60 games now, given the course of the virus,” Manfred told The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday.
Manfred also suggested that no matter what happened in negotiations with players, a 60-game regular-season was always the endgame.
“The reality is we weren’t going to play more than 60 games, no matter how the negotiations with the players went,” Manfred said.
The statement runs counter to any belief that MLB was negotiating in good faith with the players, and could ultimately form the basis of a lawsuit from the MLBPA.
Talks between the two sides began in mid-May. During negotiations, players advocated for a longer season, but owners never gave their approval to pay players full prorated salaries for any season longer than 60 games.
When pressed, Manfred said he was referencing that the season could not have started earlier because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"If we had started an 82-game season [beginning July 1], we would have had people in Arizona and Florida the time the second spike hit," Manfred said.
“My point was that no matter what happened with the union, the way things unfolded with the second spike. We would have ended up with only time for 60 games, anyway. As time went on, it became clearer and clearer that the course of the virus was going to dictate how many games we could play.”
Christopher Price can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.