Baseball fans received a glimmer of hope on Monday as former MLB third baseman Trevor Plouffe tweeted that the Major League season could resume as early as July 1.
The tweet cited multiple sources and also stated that a second spring training could begin on June 10.
No Official Word on MLB Plans
MLB officials have made no announcements about when or if Opening Day 2020 will take place. Teams stopped playing spring training games in March as the coronavirus pandemic began to intensify in the United States.
Various plans for restarting the season have leaked since then, including one that would have all 30 teams play in relative seclusion in Arizona. However, there had been no serious talk about a July 1 target date prior to Plouffe’s tweet.
That meant his message quickly created a buzz amongst baseball fans on social media.
Want some good baseball news??
I just heard from multiple sources that on June 10th, Spring Training 2 will start. July 1st will be Opening Day and all teams will be playing at their home ballparks.
We’ll be discussing it in full on the next @TalkinBaseball_
— Trevor Plouffe (@trevorplouffe) May 4, 2020
“I just heard from multiple sources that on June 10th, Spring Training 2 will start,” Plouffe tweeted. “July 1st will be Opening Day and all teams will be playing at their home ballparks.”
Such a plan seems incredibly ambitious given the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some states have loosened social distancing restrictions and stay-at-home orders, there are fears that such easing could lead to at least some resurgence in infection rates. And with the situation varying greatly between state and metro areas, it may be difficult or impossible for all teams to play in their home stadiums, even without fans.
Hughes Backs Up Plouffe Report
Former Yankees and Twins pitcher Phil Hughes soon supported Plouffe’s tweet, though Hughes framed the concept as a proposal rather than a certainty.
Ok, I’ve talked with multiple sources and can confirm a June 10th spring training 2 with a July 1 opening day proposal is expected to be on the table soon. Trevor Plouffe had it first. I had it 2nd. Someone else will have it 3rd
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) May 4, 2020
“I’ve talked with multiple sources and can confirm a June 10th spring training 2 with a July 1 opening day proposal is expected to be on the table soon,” Hughes wrote.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday that he had “heard some chatter” about a July restart, though he emphasized that health and safety concerns would need to be dealt with first.
“I still think it really comes down to, Angelo, we’re at the mercy of our federal and state government,” Girardi told Angelo Cataldi of the 94WIP Morning Show in Philadelphia. “We have to make sure states are open, and we have to make sure that there are plenty of tests and we’re not endangering anyone, and once we figure those things out I think we’ll be back.”
Plouffe didn’t specify how many games would be part of a proposed MLB schedule that could begin in early July. Players and owners have previously indicated a willingness to play as many doubleheaders as possible to preserve as many games as possible.
Two notable baseball leagues have started their seasons in Asia. The Chinese Professional Baseball League began play in April, while the Korean KBO League held its Opening Day on Tuesday.