Imagine a scenario where you're watching the 2020 MLB All-Star game. It's July and the weather is great for baseball. Seems normal right? Well there won't be any All-Star game in July this year for baseball fans. However, I believe that July can hold more significance for the MLB this year than it always has.
Many baseball fans, including myself, just want to see the pros back in action against the best competitors the sport has to offer. The league and the players have had many disputes, with some players even taking to twitter about the proposals, but I believe my ideas for the season should fix things and give both sides a bit of their own leverage.
First, we need to know when the season starts. For me, I think it makes the most sense to start the season right after when the All-Star game was supposed to take place. While the players wanted to play 114 games and the owners offered a measly 50, I think that starting in the "second half of the season" can allow for close to 72-75 games. This number isn't perfect, but it makes sense to me. This gives players a little over a month to work on their game and train, whether it be alone or with their teams.
This is the best possible timeframe because it also allows for the season to end at a normal time, or even a little bit later if proposed. In my opinion, I don't think it's logical to play into December, as closed roof stadiums may not even be available in some states due to the pandemic and regulations regarding it.
I think the next step is the team alignment. I think that the MLB should keep the proposed 3 division set up that was created. The 3 division alignment allows for less travel, as more teams will play each other in either the 3 designated areas in the Eastern, Central, or Western sites.
To me, the crowd is obviously a big piece of the game, but I think that losing the crowd doesn't give any disadvantages to any teams, as the designated home team will still bat last, keeping the original advantage. Home and away would be clearly determined through the 10 team, 3 division rule as the top performing teams get "home field advantage" for the determined playoff matchups.
Now let's talk about one of the biggest issues with the MLB returning: money. The players want more, the owners want to pay less, but I think I have a solution that makes sense for both sides. I believe teams across the league should prorate their pay to their players based on the contracts that were already agreed upon with the teams. This means that whatever a player would be making per game normally is still how much they will make, but distributed according to the amount of games played. This way, the highest paid players, like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado can still be the highest paid players throughout the league. Bonuses can be given to players based on the team's success, so the players have an incentive to play well in order to earn more money.
I believe that the biggest thing for baseball, which is among the bottom of the 4 major North American sports in terms of popularity, is to come back as soon as possible. This is essential because if the MLB can be the first league back, this means more viewership for them in the weeks leading up to other sports returning, considering it would be the only sport available. This could help more people stick with baseball until the end of the season, and might change some casual fans into invested fans. However this is only my opinion and anything could happen, I truly believe this is the best plan to put forward. Here's to baseball in July!