Phillies news: Bryce Harper shares his ideal MLB return plan

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper outlined his ideal plan for MLB to return in 2020 and beyond; it is so detailed and thought out, it just might work.

Phillies star right fielder Bryce Harper has made the headlines in recent days — however, not for crushing home runs, unfortunately, due to the pandemic postponing the season.

Earlier this week, MLB owners approved a plan that would allow the season to begin in early July on the condition that public officials approve and that there is sufficiently available testing.

While on paper there seems to be some consensus, one thing the owners and players’ association cannot come to terms on is salary. In March, players were guaranteed a full year of service time, 4% of their 2020 salaries through the end of May, and then the prorated amount of that according to the amount of games played. Since then, however, owners have sought to split revenue 50-50 with players and look for a further reduction of the prorated pay due to no ticket sales — which accounted for more than $4 billion in 2019.

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The players’ association’s stance is that owners are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to create a salary cap. One vocal player against the owners’ proposal is Tampa Bay Rays southpaw Blake Snell, who on a Twitch live stream said he will not play if his salary is reduced beyond the initial prorated terms laid out in March.

Harper responded to Snell’s comments on his own stream, saying, “He ain’t lying, he’s right. He’s speaking the truth bro. I ain’t mad at him. Somebody’s gotta say it, at least he manned up and said it. Good for him. I love Snell, the guy’s a beast. One of the best lefties in the game.”

SportsRadio 94 WIP’s Joe Giglio said Friday evening that leading up to this comment, Harper had done and said everything perfectly since he signed the then-record-breaking contract with the Phillies in late winter 2019.

For the first time, Harper has turned some heads in Philadelphia. But, his comments are not entirely wrong.

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With his sights set to hopefully playing sooner than later, Harper took to Instagram late Friday evening to outline his ideal plan for Major League Baseball’s return to action.

“Beyond the health and safety which comes first for all players, staff, workers, fans, and families, Just an idea I have been thinking about,” says Harper.

The perennial MVP candidate then outlined that MLB could create East/West conferences, similar to the NBA. His ideal 2020 season would be 135 games and run through the entirety of July through October, along with the first 15 days in November.

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“Off day every two weeks on a Monday and Sunday double-header, 7 innings,” he says. “Thirty players, 6-man rotation. Save arms. If pitchers wanted this. If not no big deal. DH and any other ideas possible.”

For the playoffs, Harper says there should be a “two-week World Series,” similar to Super Bowl week. “Ten teams round-robin format College World Series kinda style at the new Texas Stadium or whatever stadium/stadiums are best,” Harper says. “Three-game series. You win the series, you move on. You lose you play the other loser in a 1-game Wild Card. Winner of that moves on. Other team is out.”

Harper then proposed an alternative: play in his hometown Las Vegas, where MLB could utilize one hotel on the strip “for all the guys and contain possibly.”

The final two teams that outlast in Harper’s proposed round-robin postseason tournament would then face off in a seven-game World Series.

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“They get 2 days off before the series,” Harper says. “With those 2 days off, you do an All-Star Game and Home Run Derby. Could do the MLB awards as well at that time. Open this up on all platforms. No blackouts. Open it for everybody to watch.”

Since the season would be ending later than ever under this scenario, Harper realizes subsequent seasons may have to be slightly altered. He proposed MLB could back up the season for the next two years: May 1, 2021, and April 1, 2022.

“Maybe I’m crazy. Just fun to think about and throw around ideas,” Harper concluded.

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What are your thoughts on Harper’s proposal for the 2020 season? Do you agree with his stance to back Snell’s comments?

A lot is up in the air currently, but given we have seen plenty of videos of Harper working out, he is more than ready to return if and when an agreement is reached among the league, owners and players’ association.