Amid surging coronavirus cases and the ongoing friction between Major League Baseball owners and players over the length and financial elements of the 2020 season, Dr. Anthony Fauci weighed in with advice for a suggested timing for a potential season.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Fauci — the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — said MLB should avoid playing into October.
"If the question is time, I would try to keep it in the core summer months and end it not with the way we play the World Series, until the end of October when it's cold. I would avoid that," Fauci told the Times. "The likelihood is that, if you stick to the core summer months, you are better off, even though there is no guarantee.
"If you look at the kinds of things that could happen, there’s no guarantee of anything. You would want to do it at a time when there isn’t the overlap between influenza and the possibility of a fall second wave."
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How and when the 2020 MLB season will take place are still being haggled over by team owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
MLB has made three economic offers, the last offering to guarantee players 70% of their salaries as part a 72-game schedule beginning July 14 and increasing the total to 80% if the postseason is completed.
Players previously offered two proposals, holding their position that no additional pay cuts were acceptable beyond the prorated salaries for 2020 that they had agreed to in March.
Spring training was suspended on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Opening day was originally slated for March 26. A potential second wave of the novel coronavirus is part of the motivation for the push for a shorter baseball season.
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