On Tuesday, following weeks of contentious negotiations between the sides, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred imposed on the MLB Players Association a 60-game season that is supposed to launch on either July 23 or 24. Given the state of the pandemic in the country -- especially in Arizona, Florida, and Texas -- it's fair to wonder if MLB will get the season off the ground, and what it would take for the league to scrap the season entirely.
SNY's Andy Martino provided some insight into what the agreement between the league and union says on the matter of the pandemic prompting a premature end to the season.
Per Martino's report, there are three conditions that could lead to the season being canceled: 1) if restrictions on travel throughout the country are imposed; 2) if the season poses "an unreasonable health and safety risk to players or staff to stage those games,"; and 3) if the competitive integrity of the season is compromised by the number of players who are available.
Of course, it can (and should) be argued that the season poses an "unreasonable health and safety risk to players or staff" at present, but that MLB appears inclined to carry on regardless of the potential short- and long-term health risks being taken by the players, coaches, essential workers, and the families of everyone else involved.
As for the third point, Martino notes there is no set number of positive tests that would trigger the season's cancellation. Indeed, Martino reports that a team being forced to cancel games due to an outbreak "would not automatically mean an end to the season itself."
If that is the case, then the answer to "what would it take for MLB to scrap its season?" appears to be as disappointingly grim as it is predictable.