Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper has chimed in with his opinion on how a 2020 Major League Baseball season should look if the league is able to overcome the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and make a return this year.
The 27-year-old superstar took to Instagram and unveiled his well thought-out program which would include:
- Splitting all 30 teams into an East-West conference format similar to the NBA
- 135-game season from early July through mid-November that would include an off-day on Mondays every two weeks and Sunday seven-inning doubleheaders
- 30-player active rosters with teams using six-man starting rotations. DH and other flexible roster ideas possible as well
- A two-week World Series that would be held with 10 teams playing a College World Series-style round-robin format at a neutral stadium. At the end, top two teams playing a “normal” seven-game World Series. Prior to that, two days off in which MLB puts on an All-Star Game with Home Run Derby
- Broadcast postseason availability on all formats with no blackouts: TV, radio, web
- Seasons in 2021 and 2022 backed up, opening May 2021 and April 2022 before return to normal scheduling
Later during a Fortnite livestream on Twitch, Harper was informed as to the comments made by Blake Snell in which the Tampa Bay Rays lefty pitcher had stated his belief that MLB players should receive their full salaries since they were the ones taking all the health risk:
“Bro, I’m risking my life. What do you mean it should not be a thing? It should 100% be a thing. If I’m gonna play, I should be getting the money I signed to be getting paid. I should not be getting half of what I’m getting paid because the season’s cut in half, on top of a 33% cut of the half that’s already there — so I’m really getting, like, 25%. On top of that, it’s getting taxed. So imagine how much I’m actually making to play, you know what I’m saying? I’m just saying, it doesn’t make sense for me to lose all of that money and then go play. And then be on lockdown, not around my family, not around the people I love, and getting paid way the hell less — and then the risk of injury runs every time I step on the field.”
Snell’s comments were met with criticism by many in the media, though some also supported the pitcher. According to Corey Seidman at NBC Sports Philadelphia, when informed of Snell’s comments by Phillies prospect Bryson Stott, Harper responded as follows:
“He ain’t lying, he’s right. He’s speaking the truth bro. I ain’t mad at him. Somebody’s gotta say it, at least he manned up and said it. Good for him. I love Snell, the guy’s a beast. One of the best lefties in the game.”
The Phillies star is working out like a fiend at home in Las Vegas, staying prepared for a possible 2020 season opening. He is obviously also staying tuned into and engaged with the game on all levels. Here’s to hoping we get to see him play this year. Something tells me that if we do, he’s going to have a big year, for however long that season lasts.