Yankees: Predicting What a Rob Manfred-Mandated MLB Season Will Look Like
By Adam Weinrib
The New York Yankees will play a 2020 MLB season. But what’s the new schedule, Rob Manfred?
After a complete breakdown in talks between MLB owners and the MLBPA became official this weekend, it now falls on Commissioner Rob Manfred’s shoulders to mandate a 2020 schedule and institute it unilaterally.
Pending a Hail Mary counteroffer from the league on Monday after a conference call with ownership representatives, Manfred seems likely to tell players when and where to report. Already shortened by the coronavirus, the 2020 season’s clock has now been run out further by a complete stalemate between players and owners.
Originally thought to be considering a 48-game schedule, we now know it’ll be…slightly longer than that?
Oh, thanks, Jon! All good now. Very mildly good.
So, what does a 50-something-game season look like? And what digit is most likely to follow the “five” in that scenario?
A widely-floated theory, laid out by Cardinals writer Derrick Goold, suspects the regular season will be 54 games long. And it makes sense…well, as much as anything does in 2020.
The Yankees could play a 54-game schedule in 2020.
54 seems to be the most likely total, since it lines up neatly with the 10-team regional divisions floated by baseball insiders way back in the day, while many of us were distracted debating the feasibility of an Arizona bubble or a different central location.
This would keep New York in the AL East, ostensibly, while also giving them games against all NL East teams except the Atlanta Braves, who would move to a newfangled “central”. The NYY would presumably play six games each (three home, three away) against the Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Rays, Marlins, Mets, Phillies, Nationals, and Pirates (who swapped with Atlanta in early designs). If the Braves argue and refuse to realign, this schedule gets slightly harder for the Yankees, but it wouldn’t be a drastic difference. Either way, there are several breaks here for the Yanks.
As of now, the postseason will not be expanded this year, in the upset of the century. Since ownership was unwilling to concede anything with the players, the MLBPA didn’t provide that nugget for them, either.
It would appear that 54 games will be played, with five teams per league making a normal-sized postseason. October’s slate, of course, will be the only thing that’s “normal” about any of this.