Schebler and Keller excited for MLB season to return

Cedar Rapids natives Scott Schebler and Mitch Keller are ready to start the 2020 MLB season and...
Cedar Rapids natives Scott Schebler and Mitch Keller are ready to start the 2020 MLB season and feel it can be done safely.(KCRG)
Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 10:50 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - After months of negotiating, the 2020 MLB season will happen. Several coaches have returned to their team facilities and the players are expected to report on July 1.

On Monday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred implemented a 60-game season after the players union rejected the last proposal. The players agreed to the terms of the season on Tuesday.

“It was just such an up-and-down battle with negotiations,” said Cedar Rapids native and Cincinnati Reds outfielder Scott Schebler.

“I know a lot of us were talking, what if there isn’t a season?” said Cedar Rapids native and Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Mitch Keller. “What are we going to do? Trying to plan out if there was a season or if there wasn’t, how I’m going to get those innings in this year for next year because I can’t just go into next year and expect to throw 200 innings if I’ve got zero under my belt this year.”

With the shortened season, there will also be several safety guidelines players will have to follow. Temperature checks will be given daily. Spitting is prohibited, but chewing gum is allowed. Lineup cards will not be exchanged. Players won’t be able to enter the ballpark until five hours before the start of a game.

“I’m a little hesitant,” said Schebler. “I’m not going to be going and hugging teammates like I used to do. That being said, I think everybody’s going to have a little more awareness when it comes to being in the clubhouse and doing all that stuff.”

“If we had a 7 o’clock game, I was there at noon just hanging out,” said Keller. “Those two hours don’t seem like much, but in that time, we’re going to be getting our work in and not really chatting and hanging out. Yeah, I feel safe about what’s in place.”

While the players would like to have a full season, both Schebler and Keller feel a 60-game season can still be exciting.

“I think it’s going to be a fun, little sprint compared to a normal season,” Schebler said. “As anybody knows, baseball is a funny sport.”

“I know every game is going to mean a lot more than in a regular season,” Keller said. “Every game’s going to be worth three games, essentially.”

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