Commissioner Rob Manfred is walking back remarks made Wednesday when he said Major League Baseball had no intention of playing more than 60 games, regardless of how negotiations with the union went.
"My point was that no matter what happened with the union, the way things unfolded with the second spike (of the coronavirus pandemic) we would have ended up with only time for 60 games, anyway," Manfred told Bob Nightengale of The USA TODAY Sports. "As time went on, it became clearer and clearer that the course of the virus was going to dictate how many games we could play."
Even further, given the way the United States has seen an increased spike in coronavirus cases - surpassing more than 50,000 new cases in a single day, according to the Wall Street Journal - the commissioner believes the 60-game mark might be generous.
"We just weren't going to be able to play more than 60 games ... with everything being shut down," Manfred continued. "The reality is that we're going to be lucky if we 60 games now given the course of the virus."
MLB reportedly showed optimism early on in negotiations regarding the potential for an 82-game season, but repeatedly asked the union to take further pay cuts. The union's original proposal - which was rejected by the league - included a 114-game season with expanded postseason play in both 2020 and 2021.