Report: 2020 MLB All-Star Game May Be Postponed Until Postseason Due to COVID-19

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2020

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 19: A statue of former Red Sox player Ted Williams outside of Fenway Park on March 19, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. The NBA, NHL, NCAA and MLB have all announced cancellations or postponements of events because of the COVID-19.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The start of the Major League Baseball season has been postponed, and it could have ramifications for a number of baseball traditions, including the All-Star Game.

As Tim Brown and Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports reported Thursday, the Midsummer Classic could instead be played in the Fall during the postseason, taking a cue from the NFL and its timing of the Pro Bowl:

"A team official said he sees almost no scenarios in which the All-Star Game is played on the date it is scheduled. One alternative that's been discussed is setting the All-Star Game for an eventual day between the league championship series and the World Series, a showcase featuring players from all but the two remaining teams."

Don't expect a cancellation, however. As Brown and Keyser reported, "Fox paid a lot of money to televise the All-Star Game, which will be a consideration and a strong reason to not cancel it outright."

That may not be the only change.

Per that report, MLB is not done with the "short-term negotiation of when the season will start," which could alter the postseason format and the length of the season. If the campaign does push well past October, a very real possibility at this point, the league could explore neutral sites for the World Series locations, to limit against outdoor games in the winter.

As Brown and Keyser noted, "Because it would allow more regular-season games, general managers are warming to the idea of a neutral-site World Series. Most view the regular season as a better indicator of team strength."

Other things that hang in the balance include the date of the trade deadline, whether the draft will happen this year and whether the season is played at all.

"Yes, it's possible," a baseball executive told Brown and Keyser regarding a possible cancellation of the entire season. "Anyone who answers 'impossible,' you should take out of your Rolodex."

A canceled season hasn't happened since the 1994 strike. But with just about every other major sports league in the United States and Europe on hiatus—and the looming possibility that the 2020 Summer Olympics could be postponed as well—it could be a while before baseball fans get their sport back.

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