LOS ANGELES -- Imagine waking up Christmas morning, exchanging gifts with the family, having a midday brunch and then gathering around the television to watch ... Game 6 of the World Series?
What seems absurd to many makes perfect sense to agent Scott Boras, who has used the downtime caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to brainstorm ideas for how baseball can maintain the integrity of its traditional 162-game schedule and four-tiered playoff system despite a lengthy delay to the start of the season.
"When you're in jail and you can't go anywhere," Boras said, alluding to Gov. Gavin Newsom's order that Californians stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, "these kinds of things are nice projects to work on, right?"
There is a growing sense among baseball executives that a best-case scenario for the sport would be an 81-game regular season beginning around July 1 and a postseason in October. There is also a fear among some that the 2020 season might be canceled in its entirety.
Boras is more optimistic. He believes a June start is "well within the vision of what could be," and said he has submitted proposals to Major League Baseball for a 162-game season that would begin June 1 and a 144-game season that would start July 1.
Both feature a playoff schedule that would run Dec. 3-26, complete with wild-card games, five-game division series, seven-game championship series and a seven-game World Series. Postseason games would be played in eight domed stadiums and three Southern California stadiums.
"We have it all mapped out," Boras said. "It's workable. We've done climate studies, and in Southern California, the average temperature in December is 67 degrees, which is better than late March and early April in most cities. We have 11 stadiums we could play postseason games in. I'm gonna get my neutral-site World Series after all."
Boras has long been a proponent of playing the World Series -- or, at least, the first two games of it -- at a neutral site to give fans and corporate sponsors months in advance to plan travel to and purchase tickets for games, turning baseball's signature event into a multiple-day happening like the Super Bowl or All-Star game.
Boras represents some of the game's highest-paid players, having negotiated more than $1 billion in contracts over the offseason for Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Nicholas Castellanos, Mike Moustakas and Dallas Keuchel.
The more games played in 2020, the more likely players would be paid their full salaries and accrue a full year toward arbitration, free agency and a full pension.