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Minor League Baseball (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

In a move that’s been expected for some time, the minor league baseball season is cancelled.

These are unprecedented times for our country, as we fight a sudden COVID-19 resurgence while attempting to find some semblance of normalcy. While that means a return to Major League Baseball, the MiLB wasn’t as lucky.

Hundreds of players are on very low or nonexistent salaries/stipends at a time where resources are scarce, and safety is paramount.

On Tuesday, the inevitable was officially announced. A financial disaster for MiLB means teams will be starved for financial help, and some may even fold. An experience that for so many has meant a night at the ballpark in small towns and cities has been taken from us, and with it a part of what makes baseball an unofficial language of the American sports landscape.

MiLB officially announced the cancellation of the 2020 season on Tuesday in a statement.

Minor League baseball was already struggling from a business standpoint, with MLB planning to shrink MiLB as a whole in the years to come. With a vacated season — and a very limited income –now on their plate, there’s no easy answer as to how franchises can be expected to wait this out, even with limited help from their major league parent organizations.

pic.twitter.com/XEDFmfHTmI

— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 30, 2020

MLB owners’ complaints about the limited financial output from a 2020 major league season will trickle down, and there’s unfortunately very little benefit on their part to maintain the status quo. “What’s next?” is no easy question to answer, especially for those minor league franchises not lucky enough to be an alternate hosting cite for a major league team, or deemed an appropriate location for a collegiate/junior tournament of some sort.

Leaning on MLB ownership to make concessions, at least thus far, has not been a winning cause.

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The first and final days of the 2021 MLB regular season have been revealed

LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 01: A detailed view of a pair of official Rawlings Major League Baseball baseballs with the imprinted signature of Robert D. Manfred Jr., the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, sitting in the dugout prior to the Spring Training game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 1, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. The Tigers defeated the Yankees 10-4. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

It’s never too early to prepare for the future, based off MLB’s latest update

The 2020 MLB season has yet to commence, as all 30 teams are participating in their respective summer camps. Yet, that’s not stopping the professional baseball league from preparing for the future.

On Wednesday, MLB announced that the very first day of the 2021 season will take place on April 1 for all clubs. Additionally, the final game of the regular season will be held on Oct. 3.

The 2021 #MLB season will start April 1, with final regular season game on Oct. 3. This will be the first time since 1968 that every team will open the season on the same day

— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 9, 2020

2021 Opening Day Schedule

Here are the 15 games that will kick off the 2021 MLB regular season, with all times to be determined:

  • Blue Jays at Yankees
  • Mets at Nationals
  • Astros at Athletics
  • Braves at Phillies
  • White Sox at Angels
  • Indians at Tigers
  • Twins at Brewers
  • Orioles at Red Sox
  • Dodgers at Rockies
  • Cardinals at Reds
  • Rays at Marlins
  • Pirates at Cubs
  • Diamondbacks at Padres
  • Rangers at Royals
  • Giants at Mariners

Commissioner Rob Manfred had intended to have every club participate in a league-wide Opening Day this year on March 26. Of course, that never happened due to the coronavirus pandemic hitting the United States, forcing MLB to shut down spring training.

Of course, the expectation for next year is for all teams to participate in their traditional 162-game campaign, where teams will be allowed to travel across the nation once the spread of COVID-19 has subsided and a vaccine has been introduced. Additionally, they hope that full attendance will be permitted at every ballpark throughout the season.

In this 60-game season, teams will be confined to Eastern, Central, and Western divisions with the purpose of limiting the amount of travel. Teams will face each of their regular division rivals ten times, while splitting up 20 games with their NL counterpart (i.e. AL East vs. NL East).

This is a case of wishful thinking on MLB’s part regarding the 2021 season. We will know if it can be played in full by the next calendar year. But let’s focus on 2020 first before looking towards the future.

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