Red Sox

McAdam: Face-to-face meeting offers potential for Major League Baseball to avoid disaster

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Reason and common sense were trailing late in the game until Tuesday.

But a ninth-inning rally has given them a chance.

Thanks to the first face-to-face meeting between commissioner Rob Manfred and Players Association executive director Tony Clark since March, there is now at least some optimism the 2020 baseball season can be salvaged. What's more, such a season would be the result of a negotiated agreement and not, as some had feared just days ago, one implemented by fiat by Manfred.

According to multiple reports, Manfred proposed a 60-game schedule Tuesday that would begin July 19 and end on Sept. 27, to be followed by a 16-team postseason tournament. For the first time, MLB agreed to pay the players 100 percent of their pro-rated salaries, which had been an unwavering demand of the players. Under the proposal, the Players Association would have to waive its right to file an unfair labor practice grievance.

To be clear: no deal has been yet reached, and the Players Association would still prefer a regular season longer than the 60 games that is on the table -- the better to reclaim as much of their original pay as possible. But even with MLB's insistence that the season conclude by Sept. 27 (the original end of the season), scheduling some doubleheaders and eliminating a few off-days could get that total up to 66.