Cubs Corner with Bob Fiorante: Baseball is back, 2020 MLB changes, COVID-19 protocols

by - Staff Writer -
Opening day will be July 23-24th (Jerry Lai - USA Today Sports)
Opening day will be July 23-24th (Jerry Lai - USA Today Sports)

On this edition of the Cubs Corner presented by Coach’s Bar and Grill, Anthony talked with American League expert Robert Fiorante about the fact that baseball is back, and all of the different things that it means for the game.

(As far as the situation at our sponsor Coach’s Bar and Grill, located at 6169 N Northwest Highway — they are open for curbside pickup and delivery, as well as a beer garden, patio and limited indoor seating as they progress through phase four of governor JB Pritzker’s plan to reopen Illinois.)

Baseball is finally back, but a lot of differences will be noticeable on the field, in the clubhouse, and the future. Anthony and Bob recapped it all.

The pair began by outlining the basics of the agreement to play baseball, which includes:

-- 60 games

-- 40 games vs. division ( 10 vs. each team)

-- 20 games vs. corresponding division in opposing league (4 vs. each team)

-- Players report to Spring Training 2.0 on July 1st

-- Opening day will be July 23-24th

-- There will be a Universal DH for regular and postseason

-- There will be No expanded playoffs

-- In Extra innings, there will be a runner on second to begin each inning in the regular second only

-- Trade deadline moved from July 31st to August 31st

-- season will start with 30 man rosters reduced to 26 by the end of the first month of games — teams will have active rosters of 40 players plus 20 man taxi squad of players in case of potential injury or virus spreading.

After analyzing what those changes could mean for the game, the pair talked about the protocol put in place by the league to monitor player’s health:

-- Players and staff tested every other day.

-- Players get symptom check twice per day — 100.4 cut off for being sent home.

-- Players and staff not participating will be sitting in stands at least six feet apart.

-- Antibody testing will be conducted once per month.

-- There will be a Covid-19 related injury list.

-- Any player who tests positive for Covid-19 will not be allowed to return until he tests negative twice at least 24 hours apart.

On top of some measures to test and ensure health — there are also some specific requirements such as no high fives that players have agreed to follow.

Find out the rest of the changes to the game on the field and hear the debate on whether this season has an asterisk is stats or trophies on this edition of the Cubs Corner.

As always, this episode, past episodes, and future episodes are available on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, and the CubsHQ website. Make sure to like, follow, subscribe, and rate our podcast.

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