Late Friday, Bryce Harper played the role of commissioner and released his own plan for the 2020 Major League Baseball season on Instagram:
The plan includes a 135-game season starting in July and ending in November. Schedules are regionalized, similar to the NBA and NHL except for this season, teams on the east coast would not travel to the west coast and vice versa. Instead of a traditional postseason that lasts a month, Harper’s plan calls for a two-week postseason with a round-robin format similar to that of the College World Series. All games are played at a neutral site. The World Series itself would be a seven-game series. The 2021 regular season would have to be pushed back a month to account for the length of the 2020 season.
Judging by his interview on Starting 9, it’s clear Harper has plenty of creative macro-level ideas regarding baseball and its current and future direction. He advocated for major league players to go to the Olympics and heavily criticized blackout restrictions.
The round-robin playoff format is probably the most intriguing part of Harper’s plan. The postseason calls for a centralized location, which would minimize the risk of infection. A one-game playoff for those in the loser’s bracket is an excellent way to please fans who enjoy the excitement surrounding the wild-card game, which would be eliminated in MLB’s current 2020 proposal.
The plan’s biggest flaw is that it stretches too long into the calendar year. Perhaps an even bigger challenge than getting a season started is finishing one. Medical experts agree that a second wave is inevitable so the league has to give itself the best chance to stage postseason games by not pushing them back well into the fall.
Harper’s brainstorming exercise was merely that but it begs the question of whether or not player input should have been included in the process of formulating a plan to return to action. The idea is much better than some of the ones that floated around in the last few weeks. The league could have benefited if they expanded its circle and listened to what some of its stars thought as they are more likely to be better in-tuned to what fans want to see.
MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION
- 5 Things We Learned From Bryce Harper’s Incredibly Honest Interview
- Pete Rose Accused Of Corking Bat For Portion Of Career
- What Was Ryan Howard’s Most Memorable Home Run? The Former MVP Answers…
- A Look Back At Some Phillies’ High School Careers In Other Sports
- Ruben Amaro Jr. Says He Never Wanted To Trade Cliff Lee
- Bryce Harper Says MLB Players Should Play In Olympics To Grow Sport
- Pitching Prospect Damon Jones Staying Ready For Next Opportunity, Whenever It May Come
- The Forgotten Iconic No-Hitter In Phillies History
- Bryce Harper: ‘Blackouts Are Killing The Game’
- These 10 Players Have Made The Most Money As Phillies