Scott Boras pitches 162-game MLB schedule with a World Series game on Christmas

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Scott Boras pitches 162-game MLB schedule with a World Series game on Christmas

Imagine waking up on Christmas morning, exchanging presents with the family, having an afternoon brunch, then sitting around the television to watch. . . Game 6 of the World Series?

What seems absurd to many makes perfect sense to Agent Scott Boras, who has used the downtime caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to brainstorm ideas about how baseball can maintain the integrity of its traditional 162 game schedule and four-tiered playoff system. despite a long delay until the start of the season.

“If you’re in prison and you have nowhere to go,” Boras said, referring to Governor Gavin Newsom’s order that Californians stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, “are these fun projects to work on, Right? “

There is a growing sense among baseball managers that a best-case scenario for the sport would be a regular season of 81 games beginning around July 1 and a postseason in October. Some also fear that the 2020 season will be canceled in its entirety.

Boras is more optimistic. He believes that a June start “is well within the vision of what could be” and said he has made proposals to Major League Baseball for a 162-game season that would start on June 1 and a 144-game season that would start on July 1.

Both have a playoff schedule that runs from December 3 to 26, complete with wildcard games, five-game series, seven seven-game championships, and a seven-game World Series. The postseason games were to be played in eight domed stadiums and three southern California stadiums.

“We mapped it all out,” said Boras. “It is workable. We’ve done climate studies and the average temperature in Southern California is 67 degrees in December, which is better in most cities than in late March and early April. We have eleven stadiums in which we can play post-season matches. I’m going to get my World Series with neutral location anyway. “

Boras has long advocated playing the World Series – or at least its first two games – in a neutral location to give fans and corporate sponsors months in advance to plan trips and buy game tickets , turning the signature of baseball event into a multi-day event like the Super Bowl or All-Star game.

Boras represents some of the game’s highest paid players, who have negotiated over $ 1 billion in contracts in the low season for Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Nicholas Castellanos, Mike Moustakas, and Dallas Keuchel.

The more games played in 2020, the greater the chance that players would receive their full salary and build up a full year toward arbitration, freedom of choice and full retirement.

Salary Questions – Would the base salary, bonuses and rewards be calculated pro rata based on the number of games played? – roster size and annual design are some of the many problems MLB and the players’ union are working through during the shutdown caused by COVID-19.

But the schedule has top priority and Boras has an app for that. Under his plans, most of the regular season and all playoffs would be played, retaining much of the teams’ local television revenue and MLB’s national TV revenues, the vast majority of which comes from post-season broadcasts .

Under the Boras plan, wildcard games would be played on December 3, the league series would be December 5-9, the league championship series December 11-17 and the World Series December 19-26.

There would be no days off in the postseason series and games would be played in Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Diego, Miami, Seattle, Arizona, Milwaukee, Toronto, Houston, St. Petersburg, Fla. And Arlington, Texas.

“All the players I talk to want to play all the games and we can map this out,” said Boras. “We just try to leave it [MLB] know that we can do it, that there is a logical way to do it. You have the facilities. You have the sites to do it. The difference is how the playoffs are performed and where they are played.

“I think having a planned World Series at a designated location would be a huge economic gain for our industry. You can secure corporate sponsorship and have entertainment around it. The Super Bowl has one game. Here we can celebrate for five to seven days. ‘

There are flaws in Boras’s plan. A regular season that includes October and November requires some games to be played in bad weather, but Boras said the schedule could be adjusted to minimize the number of late season games in cold-weather cities.

For a July 1 start, teams should play at least a dozen doubleheaders, but Boras said MLB could ease the tension by expanding rosters to about 30 players for doubleheaders, scheduling them in the middle of the series and those series to follow with days off.

A playoff run to Christmas would also force MLB to push the start of the 2021 season back to at least mid-April.

The NHL wants to avoid a similar problem. In a question-and-answer session released Monday, the NHL said it “does not expect a scenario in our resumption of the game format that boosts and expands the ability of the league to complete the 2020-2021 NHL season. endanger or interfere with feeding. “

Both the MLB commissioner’s office and the players’ union, citing ongoing negotiations, declined to comment on possible scheduling scenarios and the input they received from agents and front office personnel regarding schedules.

The Boras plan is not perfect, but what plan would there be in this time of uncertainty? Baseball, like any other sport, is in unexplored waters and no idea of ​​keeping the schedule should be considered too radical.

“I think everything is on the table,” said Derrick Hall, president and chief executive officer of the Arizona Diamondbacks. “We should definitely play for a season.

“Baseball has always been the return to normal and if there is a need for it, it is now just like it was after [the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks], in wartime, any time. We are the sport that has to go back. ‘

Times writer Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.

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