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MLB plans to announce shortened 60-game schedule, as tensions between union and owners boil over

The league will play its shortest season since 1878

Updated: June 23, 2020 - 10:08am

Major League Baseball will announce a 60-game schedule, returning for its shortest season in more than 140 years amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The MLB is planning to unilaterally issue the order to return to play after a deal negotiated by the commissioner and the player's union was rejected. 

Tony Clark, the head of the players' union, and commissioner Rob Manfred met last week to outline terms of a deal that expanded the playoffs from 10 to 16 teams, and innovated gameplay in several other technical ways.

The deal was proposed to the MLB Players Association's executive board on Monday and was subsequently voted down 33-5. 

"The framework provided an opportunity for MLB and its players to work together to confront the difficulties and challenges presented by the pandemic. It gave our fans the chance to see an exciting new postseason format. And, it offered players significant benefits," read a statement from the MLB. "Needless to say, we are disappointed by this development."

The MLB's control owners have now signed off on a plan to head into a 60-game schedule without fans in the parks. The players' union reportedly has until 5 p.m. on Tuesday to confirm that players will be ale to show up to training by July 1. If that schedule is approved, then the season will likely begin officially during the last week of July. 

"We anticipate finalizing a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols with Major League Baseball in the coming days, and we await word from the league on the resumption of spring training camps and a proposed 2020 schedule," read a statement from the union. 

In December of 2021, baseball's collective bargaining agreement is set to expire, which, given the damage done to the relationship between the MLB and the union during the pandemic, indicates the possibility of a spring training lockout prior to the 2022 season. 

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