MLBPA's Tony Clark: Players 'Want to Play' amid Return Rumors Despite COVID-19

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 5, 2020

FIEL - In this Feb. 19, 2017, file photo, Tony Clark, executive director of the Major League Players Association, answers questions at a news conference in Phoenix. A proposal collapsed that would have put a runner on second base to start the 10th inning of spring training games, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because no statements were authorized. Management thinks the union backed off because players were upset Commissioner Rob Manfred described new pace-of-game rules that apply to the regular season as an agreement, the person said. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)
Morry Gash/Associated Press

Tony Clark, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, understands the desire everyone in the union has to get back on the field as the league continues to explore scenarios to start the 2020 regular season amid the coronavirus pandemic.   

In an interview with ESPN's Marly Rivera, Clark noted players "want to play," but right now the union has "not received anything formal that details an actual plan."

There have been multiple rumors about ideas being considered by MLB that could potentially allow games to be played this season. 

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported last week that one scenario under consideration would see "as many as 20 home parks" or "10 to 12 states" hosting games, with officials saying the "most realistic time range" for Opening Day is between mid-June and July 4. 

One of the earliest ideas considered, per ESPN's Jeff Passan, would have all 30 teams stationed in Arizona, where the combination of the Arizona Diamondbacks' home at Chase Field, 10 spring training complexes and college stadiums present access to the number of fields needed to host up to 15 games per day. 

After that report came out in early April, MLB issued a statement noting it has "not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan."

There haven't been any MLB games played since March 11 during spring training. The following day due to the pandemic, the league canceled the remaining exhibition schedule and delayed the start of the regular season, originally scheduled to begin March 26. 

Bleacher Report's David Gardner interviews athletes and other sports figures for the podcast How to Survive Without Sports.