Phillies' Joe Girardi: 'I've Heard Some Chatter' on July 1 for MLB Return Date

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2020

Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi is seen during pregame of a spring training baseball game, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi is aware of the rumors circulating about a potential July 1 start for the 2020 MLB season. 

"I've heard some chatter about that as well," Girardi told WEEI's Angelo Cataldi Tuesday.

Former player Trevor Plouffe tweeted Monday that he's heard spring training will begin on June 10 and the regular season will start July 1.

Girardi said it would be "great if we could be back by then," but noted there are still some holdups.

"We're at the mercy of our federal and state government," the 55-year-old said. "I mean that's what we're at the mercy of. We have to make sure states are open and we have to make sure that there are plenty of tests and we're not endangering anyone, and once we figure those things out I think we'll be back."

Keith Law of The Athletic reported there is no official date set for a return and the July 1 rumor was false. 

The league has been on hiatus since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but executives have been considering potential options for a return.

C.J. Anderson of CBS Sports reported on a plan to hold games in Florida, Arizona and Texas to help reduce travel and limit exposure to the disease, but MLB apparently is hoping to produce close to a normal season.

"The preferred plan would be to start play in late June or early July with as many teams as possible playing in home parks," Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported.

ESPN's Jeff Passan previously noted a July start would allow time for teams to play 80-100 games before holding the playoffs in November.

This could still be a challenge with each state enforcing different directives in response to COVID-19.