What We Can Expect for the Upcoming 2021 MLB Season


Photo credits to Antti- Flickr.com

A ballpark loaded with fans ready to watch a baseball game from a few year ago

The 2021 MLB season still has a lot of question marks around it, with a lot of factors to be brought into consideration due to the ongoing pandemic. In the 2020 season,

a league that was supposed to start in April was postponed until July and the league only played a 60 regular season game schedule and playoffs. This is nothing like the normal 162 regular season games a team plays in one season.

Everybody has different ideas on how and when the season should be played. Currently, the season is supposed to start on April 1, but that could easily change based for many different reasons. Currently, the MLB is planning on a full season including spring training starting in February on time. Besides changes made to the season, many other factors are yet to be decided such as will there be fans and how are they going to monitor the coronavirus within the players and coaches. A lot is still yet to be decided about the 2021 MLB season.

The MLB spring training season, which is where players play preseason games to get ready for the upcoming season, is set to start on February 27. As of right now, it is expected to start on time. It takes place in Arizona and Florida, where the teams stay at their own training camps.

MLB said in a statement “We have announced the dates for the start of Spring Training and the Championship Season. As we get closer we will, in consultation with public health authorities, our medical experts, and the Players Association, determine whether any modifications should be considered in light of the current surge in COVID-19 cases and the challenges we faced in 2020 completing a 60-game season in a sport that plays every day.”

That statement was in regards to spring training and the regular season. The players responded to that with this statement.

Photo credits to Chris Kim- flickr.com

“As we’ve made clear to the league on multiple occasions, we expect Spring Training and the Regular Season to start on time and as scheduled, consistent with our CBA. The league does not have the authority or legal basis to unilaterally delay or shorten the schedule without Players’ consent. While there will continue to be challenges, our Players have proven they can safely play a season under difficult circumstances, as have the other sports.”

The commissioners office told the players to prepare for an on time start to the season.

MLB players are insisting that there be a full 162 game season, and the MLB Players Association is pushing for this to happen. The MLBPA and the MLB union, which is made up of MLB team owners and executives, are at odds over when to start the season and what the season will look like.

Bruce Meyer, the MLBPA senior director of collective bargaining and legal said last month, “To be clear, and as we’ve made it clear to the league, players are planning in showing up for spring training on time for a full 162 game season as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement and the league’s previously issued schedule.”

The MLBPA is working as hard as they can to start this season on time with a full schedule like a normal year, but the Union has come out and said a full 162 game season is unachievable. The players of course want to play a full season as normal as it can be, and the two sides are trying to reach an agreement. The Union’s goal is for all the players to receive COVID-19 vaccines before the start of the season, and once this is achieved they can continue on with it.

The league wants at least some fans in the stands at each ballpark, but all states have different rules for how many people can be in one place at a time. Despite rumors, the league will not require you to be tested for the Coronavirus or be vaccinated from it. MLB commissioner issued fan-safety guidelines for 2021, stating all fans will be separated in pods 6 feet apart from one another, with masks required. The pod just means the fans will stay with the party they came with, not join in with other groups. Fans will not be allowed into the stadium early before the game to watch the players get ready, and they will not be allowed to seek autographs from the players.

Commissioner Manfred said in a statement, “The Office of the Commissioner understands the need for clubs to plan for next season, but MLB’s policies ultimately will depend on the public health situation in the United States, which is difficult to predict this far in advance of the season. In particular, the current uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution rates is preventing our experts from making predictions about the spring and summer with specificity. As such, MLB’s guidance on fan attendance may change in the coming weeks as circumstances change, and may also be modified later as the season progresses and conditions improve.’’

If the league does not wait to start the season until all players are vaccinated, they will give the players daily COVID tests and use contact tracing to see who a player has been close to if someone were to test positive.

Currently, the MLB season is supposed to start on April 1, but with many different factors to consider this may not happen. Nothing this MLB season is set in stone, and many things can change based on the current pandemic. The league is working to come to a decision on the season with how many games will be played and when. A lot of ideas are being thrown around and right now anything can happen because everything is subject to change. Nothing is for sure right now, except that once the season starts and the players start playing, it’s going to be fun.