With the COVID-19 Pandemic weighing heavy on the return of baseball, players will report to Spring Training 2.0 on July 1st. Let’s play ball!! The Major League Baseball Player’s Union and the owners couldn’t agree on a comprehensive plan to return so the Commissioner unilaterally issued a 60 game schedule.  MLB will implement numerous rules and restrictions that will be enforced to resume play in 2020. The players’ health and safety is paramount to restarting the season. All players, on-field and essential staff will be tested upon arrival to the ballpark with temperature checks and oral/nasal swab tests to make sure that they are not infected with the virus. Fans in most states will not be able to attend the games. 

The season will consist of 60 games; for the Phillies they will play 40 games against the National League East and 20 games against the American League East. The game itself will feature changes as well. Each league, the National and American League, will have the Designated Hitter and Extra inning games will start with a runner at Second Base. Baseball is using the shortened season to experiment with these new rules that many traditional baseball fans will take exception with.  If players get in an argument with an umpire they must remain six feet away while disputing a call.  Also, Players will not be permitted to have any physical interactions with other players or coaches, including high-fives, fist bumps and spitting will be prohibited!  While all the precautions are necessary to keep the players safe from contracting COVID-19, there will ultimately be a spike. I am so excited for baseball to return, but my excitement is tempered by the fact that it can all be shut down again if the virus reaches high levels of positive tests equivalent to what we dealt with back in March and April. 

*Tomorrow on The Locker Room with Billy Schweim, the guys will talk with Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Howe about why Flyers Legend Brian Propp is not yet inducted into the Hall Of Fame.  Plus, the weekly Beach Patrol Report with the Captain of the Wildwood Beach Patrol Ed Schneider