Rejoice, America! Baseball could be back sooner than you think .
During this global pandemic, we have all been forced to make sacrifices. Some of these hardship-induced adjustments have been mild, such as the inability to sit at a bar and shoot the breeze with your buddies, or to meet a date at a live concert or movie theater.
For sports fans, there is a big piece of their lives missing, however. This feels particularly discouraging when it comes to baseball, the national pastime, as this is a game that has endured nearly every bit of trouble that our nation has faced. From the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, through two world wars, and beyond 9/11, baseball has been there for us.
Now, as social distancing remains the new norm, the diamond remains empty.
…But not for long.
Major League Baseball owners reportedly approved a plan that could start the coronavirus-delayed season around the Fourth of July in ballparks without fans.
Spring training could start in early-to-mid June and the National League would use a designated hitter during the 2020 season, according to multiple reports.
Each team would play an 82-game regular season with most teams playing games in their own divisions and interleague not going past regional matchups such as AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central and AL West vs. NL West.
The postseason would expand to 14 teams by doubling the number of wild cards in each league to four.
There are still some kinks to work out, however.
Teams will need to decide whether or not to hold preseason training at their home stadiums or at their dedicated spring-league facilities.
Furthermore, and thanks to the travel restrictions that are in place, the Toronto Blue Jays will likely need to relocate to their practice facility in Dunedin, Florida in order to prevent trouble crossing the border.