Imagine baseball by Fourth of July … if you can

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association haven't set any hard deadlines for reaching an agreement to launch the 2020 MLB season.

Why inject more pressure into an already-volatile situation? Why place a firm date on a situation that's fluid and shifting by the day?

That said, some "soft" deadlines have been tossed around, the most recent one being June 1 (hey, that's today!). By then, it was hoped, both sides could smooth out their differences and agree upon terms and conditions to commence the 2020 MLB season.

Per a recent report from MLB Network's Jon Heyman ... yeah, don't get your hopes up on that:

Being a soft deadline anyway, though, the juice of this report really sits in that second sentence. "The hope remains to start [the] season July 4 weekend — if a deal can be done by [June 5 - June 9]."

With July 3 being a Friday and the fourth being a Saturday this year, a July 3-4-5 season-opening series is just too sweet. It'd provide an instant-classic moment for baseball fans — and for the nation as a whole.

But ...


Significant hang-ups remain.

Recently, the league made an economic proposal that called for players to take additional pay cuts, these on top of an already-agreed-upon prorated salary structure. The players, predictably, were not happy about it.

Now, the players have countered, proposing a 114-game season that would run from June 30 to Oct. 31, with a 14-team postseason beginning in November. In addition, players would receive a $100 million advance during their second spring training, which will run three weeks, and have the option to opt-out of playing this season.

All that considered, it doesn't exactly sound like something the MLB's going to accept, does it?

That gives merit to Heyman's report that an agreement won't be made June 1, but it also puts both sides back on the clock. That July 4 weekend's waiting. Now that both the MLB and MLBPA have made some wild, self-centered offers, maybe they'll meet each other in the middle.

Or maybe we just won't have baseball in 2020.

Tick. Tock.

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