MLB Network presents the unveiling of the 60-game schedule tonight at 6:00 P.M. EDT; Nats cancel workouts for today!

MLB Network screenshot


MLB Network missed the opportunity to do a show on the 60-player pool selections a week ago, but they are not going to miss the chance to do a reveal of the 2020 60-Game Major League Baseball schedule. Tonight, live at 6:00 p.m. EDT on MLB Network and hosted by Matt Vasgersian with analysis from Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci, MLB Network will do a one-hour special and will unveil key matchups and dates of the 60-game schedule, which will begin on Thursday, July 23 and Friday, July 24.  It is widely anticipated that the New York Yankees will be in the nation’s capital to face the Washington Nationals as one of two games on opening night on July 23 in what is looking more likely as Gerrit Cole versus Max Scherzer although we should not count out Stephen Strasburg getting the honor. 

As previously announced, each team will play a regionally based schedule featuring 40 divisional games and 20 Interleague games against the corresponding geographical division. Following MLB Tonight: Schedule Release, MLB Network will air a new MLB Tonight  with Fran Charles, Jon Heyman and Dan Plesac live at 7:00 p.m. EDT, covering the latest news of Summer Camp presented by Camping World and continuing analysis of the 2020 60-game MLB schedule.

Leading up to 6:00 p.m. EDT, MLB Now will air live at 4:00 p.m. EDT, followed by Intentional Talk with Chris Rose and Kevin Millar at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Tonight’s new The Sounds of Baseball program featuring Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker has been rescheduled for tomorrow, July 7, at 7:00 p.m. EDT.

COVID-19 Testing Issues

Of course the entire schedule is also a factor of health and safety and early results show the system is not working to the plan.  There are no guarantees that this baseball season will ever happen as planned because of the ongoing pandemic from COVID-19.

Health and safety supplies have not be stocked like N95 masks and testing results have taken too long. The Washington Nationals have not received their results taken on Friday. That has led to a cancellation of the Nationals team workouts for today.

“Per MLB’s protocol, all players and staff were tested for Covid-19 on Friday, July 3rd. Seventy-two hours later, we have yet to receive the results of those tests,”Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement.

“We cannot have our players and staff work at risk. Therefore, we have canceled our team workout scheduled for this morning. We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff and their families.

“Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp. Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab. Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 season are at risk.”

It is completely understandable and a good call for the Nats cancellation of their team workouts for today, and relief pitcher Sean Doolittle also pointed out over the weekend deficiencies in the system which has MLB using only one lab in Salt Lake City, Utah to process tests performed every other day for all players, staff and coaches of 30 clubs. Add that up and it has to be near 1,250 tests per day to cover all of that personnel.

“Spring Training’s only three weeks long, you’ve got to have those days. You need every day to try to get ready,” Doolittle said yesterday. “So as the season moves forward, and as we continue [summer] training, especially once we start traveling, those results got to be back. That’s one of the biggest things … there were a lot of guys that were on the fence that decided to try to play, to see how this was going to go because we were going to have our results within 48 hours.”

The Nationals have announced that they have 2 players who tested positive for COVID-19 although, no names were revealed. By count approximately 45-50 players had checked in but the system has been held up by test results from Friday that would have cleared all players to participate in team practices except for the two players with COVID.

Opening Day for the Nationals is just 17-days away!


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