As representatives of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association continue to negotiate financial and health parameters in order to actually make it happen, commissioner Rob Manfred states that he is “hopeful” a 2020 MLB season will take place.

In a 10-minute interview on Thursday night, Manfred addressed each of the key issues involving testing of players and others involving in putting on the games that would need to take place in order to successfully move forward this coming summer.

We are making plans about playing in empty stadiums,” Manfred told CNN. “But as I’ve said before, all of those plans are dependent on what the public health situation is and us reaching the conclusion that it will be safe for our players and our other employees to come back to work.

One interesting question that Manfred addressed was the idea that, should the game indeed go forward with a 2020 return, a player or players may individually feel they don’t feel safe and would not wish to return. What then?

Well, we hope that we will be able to convince the vast majority of our players that it’s safe to return to work. The protocols for returning to play, the health-related protocols, are about 80 pages in length. They’re extraordinarily detailed…At the end of the day, however, if there’s players with either health conditions or just their own personal doubts, we would never try to force them to come back to work. They can wait until they feel they’re ready to come.

MLB officials have worked hard to come up with a plan that will enable the game to resume. The negotiations with the MLBPA will hopefully yield positive results in the coming days. In the end for baseball fans, whether talking about health, economic, or logistical issues, it really is all about that single word – hope.

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