How To Play As Many Minor League Baseball Games As Possible In 2020
At this point, there is a near-universal acceptance that the 2020 MiLB season will not be 140 games. The goal now is that whenever the all clear is given, teams can play as many games as possible. While nothing is decided there are several ideas that will likely be implemented once baseball resumes.
1. Cancel All-Star Games.
Without games in April and likely May, the raison d'être for all-star games has already been derailed. But more than that, an all-star break means taking three or four days where one team gets a home date instead of ensuring that everyone gets games. With no chance that all teams are going to get 140 games, an all-star game break will likely be seen as a luxury item that can be eliminated.
2. Eliminate Playoffs
The same arguments made for eliminating the all-star games can also be applied to the playoffs. It may seem odd to play a baseball season without playoffs, but MiLB playoffs are cancelled regularly because of weather issues. Starting a shortened season by announcing that the league’s best record will be declared the league’s champion (and laying out tiebreakers) is a way to take the time scheduled for the playoffs to extend the season. That by itself would allow all teams to add two weeks to their seasons, and those would be regular season games (which can be included in ticket packages) as opposed to postseason games which are separate ticket packages that cannot be sold early in the season.
3. Request An Extension To The Season-End Date
It would get a little trickier, but MiLB could ask MLB to adjust the calendar for 2020, allowing the season to run until the end of September or even into October. That would be difficult since the current Professional Baseball Agreement between MiLB and MLB expires at the end of September, but if MLB teams want to ensure that their players get more development time this year (and with the new September callup numbers limiting the number of players who are being promoted to the majors that month), adding time to the back of the schedule could be beneficial for both MLB and MiLB.