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Report: MLB looking at early July start, World Series ending no later than early November

Major League Baseball has proposed health and safety protocols to the players’ union. We break down the latest news as MLB attempts to return to action amidst the pandemic.

A view of the New York Yankees Spring Training facility at George M. Steinbrenner Field which has been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak on March 18, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Major League Baseball owners have presented a proposal to the players’ union that focuses on health and safety issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Salaries still need to be sorted out, but the the owners are hoping to first get an agreement with the players on safety protocols.

The owners have proposed a season that would start in early July, with spring training resuming in June, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. More importantly, Nightengale is hearing the current sentiment is that the World Series has to conclude by the first week of November to avoid a potential second wave of the novel coronavirus.

The health protocols would include no signing of autographs or posing for pictures, no high-fives between teammates, and no spitting. The league is consulting with health experts who are recommending things like a daily nasal swab, blood tests, and regular taking of temperatures.

Eventually economics will have to be sorted out, and Nightengale is reporting it’s expected to take two to three weeks to sort that out. He reported on what owners claim they will lose depending on various scenarios, including a canceled season, a half season with full playoffs but no fans, and a partial season that is canceled before the playoffs are complete. Of course, the owners have not made their books public. They are asking the players to take a further pay cut from their March agreement, and it will be worth watching to see if the owners are willing to provide clear proof for further pay cuts by the players.