As the last few weeks have shown, no one can really predict what comes next. Whatever happens with baseball, though, Larry Baer sounds open to anything.
“Everything is on the table” with what an abbreviated MLB season can look like, the Giants CEO said Thursday on KNBR, in the minutes before the Players Union and MLB reportedly agreed upon a deal for the 2020 season in which the draft will be shortened and major league players will get full service time regardless if a game is played.
If games are played — and it seems as if the league and players will go to great lengths to ensure they are — the calendar will be a curiosity.
“Whenever we start it, this will be a different kind of season unfortunately,” Baer said on “Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks.” “But we’ll adapt to it and who knows, there could be different kinds of approaches.”
Those different kinds of approaches could include plenty of doubleheaders — perhaps weekly ones — and perhaps those matchups would conclude after seven and not nine innings.
“Why not? Why not try something this year that can be interesting, that can be different,” said Baer, before mentioning the idea. “… The nine innings is a sacrosanct thing, but that’s not in the minor leagues, and we have exceptional circumstances this year.”
Baseball teams can assemble at the earliest in mid-May, and if that optimistic timeline holds, they probably would begin games in early June, at a time when about 60 games would be gone from the original schedule.
There have been proposals entailing the season being pushed back and holding neutral-field indoor playoff games in November.
“Can we make up games along the way? I think there’s a will on both sides to do that, players and owners,” said Baer, who also mentioned the notion of playing games with no fans in attendance; “I don’t know if that works or not.”
He, like everyone else, is eager for the season to get going — whenever that is.
“I think baseball’s going to be a huge force when we are back and we’re all ready to be together and gather in elevating the community spirit,” Baer said.