According to a report by Bob Nightengale of USA Today yesterday, “Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred informed clubs Monday that they should be preparing for spring training to start on time in February and to plan on a full 162-game season being played.”
In the report, Nightengale mentions that Major League Baseball was hoping to delay the season by “at least a month to provide more time for players and fans to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, enabling fans to get back into ballparks earlier. But the Major League Baseball Players Association vigorously fought it.”
While it’s unknown when fans will be permitted to attend games in the stadium and attend Spring Training games in Florida and Arizona, planning on having a full season is good for everyone and should be applauded even the staff of the teams.
In a separate article from the LA Times, they are reporting that in the same memo, that Major League Baseball outlined “what it called its ‘minimum health and safety standards’ for the 2021 season. The league noted that state and local authorities could mandate more restrictive standards and that all policies are subject to change as the public health situation in the United States changes.”
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Additionally, the memo stated that “teams could decide whether to require proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test, and/or temperature checks but that MLB did not intend to mandate any of those steps.
During the Spring of 2020, it made sense to postpone both Spring Training and the Major League Baseball season to figure out the impact COVID had on the public. As more and more sports are playing and life has somewhat begun to come back to normal, why shouldn’t Baseball be one of those things? The answer is pretty simple, yes, a full 162 game season should be one of those parts of American society that we start to enjoy again.
Even if fans aren’t allowed to attend games at stadiums right away, last season proved that Major League Baseball could operate without fans. Teams now have the time to get creative to get fans excited for baseball games, and then when more and more individuals get the COVID vaccine, fans should start to flow back into baseball parks across the country. There is no need for baseball not to return to a regular 162 game season. The time has come to take another step forward to the return to normalcy.