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MLB plans 60-game slate, shortest since 1878 as union balks

The MLBPA still has to agree on the start date and sign off on health and safety protocols.
Credit: AP Photo/John Raoux
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred answers questions at a news conference during MLB baseball owners meetings in Orlando, Fla.

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball plans to unilaterally issue a 60-game schedule for its shortest season since 1878 after the players’ association rejected a negotiated deal of the same length, putting the sport on track for a combative and possibly unhappy return to the field amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Six days after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and union head Tony Clark negotiated to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16, widen use of the designated hitter to National League games and introduce an experiment to start extra innings with a runner on second base, the deal was rejected by the union. 

The plan is for teams to report to spring training July 1, with the season scheduled to start the weekend of July 24-26. The MLBPA still has to agree on the start date and sign off on health and safety protocols.

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