After all the backbiting and fighting between billionaire owners and millionaire players, it was announced Tuesday by Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred there will be a 60-game regular-season sprint to the playoffs. Players will report to training camps Wednesday, and the season is set to begin July 23-24.

With that, I’d like to make an announcement of my own: thanks to the impending resumption of America’s great pasttime, we here at the Lewiston Tribune and Moscow-Pullman Daily News sports departments listened, and we have decided to bring back full box scores for the shortened season, as long as there will be a season.

When I arrived here in August 2019, the one thing I encountered more than anything else was subscribers upset with the newspaper for taking away box scores, which has been a staple of households across this great country of ours since the beginnings of the sport. In fact, it was one of the reasons I got into the sports journalism business: the chance to delve deep into the numbers and what they mean.

Upon learning we were not running box scores and the uproar this was causing, I took time to investigate the matter. But honestly, it didn’t take long at all to realize that not running box scores had some effect in us losing subscribers. Sure, many people in our area can access the internet and the excuse of “well, you can just get them on the internet,” doesn’t really fly in this community.

It’s a place that’s steeped in baseball heritage. The Broncs became an institution during their continuous 22-year run from 1952 until they folded in 1974 (the team also played one season in 1921, 1937 and 1939). Many former major league baseball players came through this area: the most famous were Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson, Tony LaRussa and John McNamara.

But there are others, such as Bert Campaneris, Dave Duncan, Bob Forsch, Marcel Lachemann, Rick Monday, Blue Moon Odom and Tom Trebelhorn.

I’m sure I’m missing more legendary players who made their way through this town. The Broncs had two distinctions: smallest town in the United States to have a professional baseball team, and the only pro team to be run by a board of directors centered on the stockholders for their entire existence.

Then when Lewiston lost the Avista NAIA World Series this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, I knew that we had to do something in our role as a source of information, so we dedicated nine full days of coverage, mainly looking back at Lewis-Clark State College’s hallowed past. From teams that didn’t quite make it to the top (the 1983 team comes to mind with a 69-7 record but no title!) to the ones that are a part of the legacy that is 19 national championships strong, we knew we had an opportunity to make that history come alive one final time with a chance of a lifetime to revisit those great teams and those great players.

Not only that, but the fact Lewiston embraces all of those teams that come into town that one week at the end of May, the players, the stories, and just the all-around support the citizens here show solidified in my mind how much baseball means to the people here.

Returning box scores to the paper has been something we’ve been hoping to tell you since ... well ... March. But because the MLB season was put on hold, we had to put that plan on the backburner. In fact, we were concerned we weren’t going to be able to roll out the plan because of the fighting between the two sides about an agreement to play this season. Many people who work with me have seen the exasperation of the day-in, day-out progress, or lackthereof at times, of the negotiations between both sides.

There still are many questions that need to be answered. And really, what are the chances of this 60-game season being played to its completion because of the real threat that this first wave of COVID-19 isn’t done yet, and what happens if there is a major surge of cases and hospitalizations throughout the nation, like what is going on in the Deep South right now? It’s bringing up the distinct possibility that other sports (including college football) could be in danger of not playing at all.

But the one question I know some of you readers hoped I would answer is this: yes, we will bring back box scores. We can’t wait for that to happen. Along with those box scores, we will continue to run the daily standings as well as recaps on Mariners games.

With that, it’s time to hear those two words most of us here have been longing to hear for the past few months: Play Ball!

Walden may be reached at (208) 848-2258, dwalden@lmtribune.com, or on Twitter at @waldo9939.

NEW YORK — A summary of Major League Baseball’s 2020 Operations Manual, as edited by The Associated Press. The manual was written by MLB executive vice president Morgan Sword, senior vice presidents Patrick Houlihan, Bryan Seeley and Chris Young, and vice presidents Jon Coyles and Paul Mifsud. Young is a former pitcher who retired after the 2017 season. Input was provided by the staff of the Major League Baseball Players Association and the 30 major league clubs.

THE BASICS

SEASON LENGTH

Sixty games, the shortest major league schedule since 1878. Forty games vs. division rivals, 20 vs. corresponding division in other league.

SALARIES

A player receives prorated salary. A player on the roster for the entire season, if completed, would receive 60/162nds, or about 37 percent

HIGH-RISK PLAYERS

Can opt out and receive salary and service time. Non-high-risk players who opt out do not receive salary or service time.

REPORT DATES

Start July 1, with staggered arrivals, with clubhouse and support staff first, then pitchers and catchers followed by position players. Intake screening must take place before entrance into a team facility.

COVID-19 TESTING

Includes a temperature check with contactless thermometer, a body fluid sample of saliva or oral/nasal swab and a blood sample for antibody testing. An individual must self quarantine for about 24 tp 48 hours until test results are reported. All individuals will have their temperature checked at least twice daily. Tier One individuals will be subject to diagnostic testing every other day during spring training, the season, and, if applicable, the postseason. All other covered individuals will be subject to diagnostic testing multiple times per week and antibody tests approximately once per month. Any covered individual who has a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees, comes in contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or exhibits a symptom will be subject to an immediate expedited diagnostic test. Any covered individual with a temperature of 100.4 or higher must self-isolate. A player who tests positive cannot return to team facilities until the player has tested negative and is asymptomatic. A player who tests positive cannot return to team facilities or travel with the team until the player has tested negative and is asymptomatic.

TRAINING

“Spring” training has three phases: individual and group workouts of five or fewer for pitchers and catchers (Phase 1), full-team workouts, with division into smaller groups if possible (Phase 2), exhibition games (Phase 3).

TRAINING SITES

All teams other than Toronto intend to train at their regular-season ballparks. Toronto is speaking with its federal and provincial governments to gain permission to work out at Rogers Centre. Workouts are to be staggered during the day when possible to avoid overcrowding, or consider also using nearby minor league or college facilities to split groups.

AWAY FROM FIELD

No formal restrictions. MLB “will expect the covered individuals on each club to ensure that they all act responsibly.”

RULES AND REGULATIONS

DESIGNATED HITTER

The designated hitter rule (5.11) shall be extended to clubs in both leagues for all championship season and postseason games.

EXTRA INNINGS

During the championship season only (not the postseason), rule 7.01(b) (extra innings”) will be modified in accordance with minor league regulations, such that each half-inning following the ninth inning will begin with a runner on second base. The runner placed on second base at the start of each half-inning shall be the player (or a substitute for such player) in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning’s leadoff hitter.

WET RAG FOR PITCHERS

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in rule 6.02 (“Pitcher Illegal Action”), all pitchers may carry a small wet rag in their back pocket to be used for moisture in lieu of licking their fingers. Water is the only substance allowed on the rag. Pitchers may not access the rag while on the pitching rubber and must clearly wipe the fingers of his pitching hand dry before touching the ball or the pitcher’s rubber.

SUSPENDED GAMES

Rules 7.01 and 7.02 adjusted to permit the continuation of games of less than five complete innings that are ended because of weather. Such games shall be treated as suspended games that will be continued at a later date, resumed at the point of suspension.

THREE-BATTER MINIMUM

The change enacted to rule 5.10 requiring a pitcher to face at least three batters or complete a half-inning will be enforced.

UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT

The prohibitions against unsportsmanlike conduct (rule 6.04) will be strictly enforced.

ON-FIELD SAFETY

Spitting is prohibited, but chewing gum is permitted. No exchange of lineup cards. Players, umpires and other on-field personnel should practice physical distancing to the extent possible within the limitations of competition and baseball. On-field personnel should stand at least 6 feet apart during “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.” When the ball is out of play, fielders are encouraged to retreat several steps from runners. Catchers may step onto the infield grass to signal infielders. Coaches should not approach runners. Players on opposite teams should not socialize or come within 6 feet of each other before the game, during warm-ups, in-between innings or postgame. Players should keep and use their own personal equipment, whenever possible. Any baseball that is put in play and touched by multiple players shall be removed. After an out, players are discouraged from throwing the ball around the infield. Fighting and instigating fights are strictly prohibited. The duties normally handled by bat boys/girls and ball boys/girls will be performed by existing club staff. Other than balls stored in Arizona’s humidor, clubhouse staff are prohibited from handling game or practice baseballs without washing their hands, and without wearing face coverings and clean gloves. Individuals must use clean tap water or drinking water to supplement rubbing.

PLAYERS

ROSTERS

Each team can invite up to 60 players to the resumption of training.

PLAYER POOL

Each team must submit by 1 p.m. Pacific on Sunday a 60-player pool eligible to participate this season, including players not on 40-man rosters and under contract. Players from the group not invited to spring training will report to the team’s designated alternate training site that is separate from where the active roster plays and can be reached without commercial air travel. A team at 60 cannot add a player except by removing a player with a transaction.

TAXI SQUAD

A team can carry up to three additional players on a taxi squad during road trips, and one must be a catcher if a team carries three. Players on the taxi squad get paid at the minor league rate of their contract and receive a $108.50 major league daily allowance when the team is on the road. Players on the taxi squad must return to the alternate training site when the team returns home, except one catcher can serve as a bullpen catcher for home games and receive the daily allowance for his first 14 days on the taxi squad.

INJURED LIST

The announced change of a 15-day minimum injured list and optional recall period for pitchers is eliminated. There will be a COVID-19 related injury list with no minimum time for players who test positive, are exposed to COVID-19 or show symptoms. The 60-day IL will be a 45-day IL.

VISA ISSUES

A player who previously reported to spring training this year who is unable to report on time for the return shall receive up to 30 days of adjusted salary and major league service during time on the restricted list.

DATES TO WATCH

June 26 — Transaction freeze ends, 9 a.m. Pacific.

June 28 — Deadline for each team to submit list of 60 players eligible to play this season, 1 p.m. Pacific

July 1 — Players start to report.

July 18 or 19 — Last day to offer a retention bonus to an eligible player attending training with a minor league contract.

July 21 or 22 — Last day to place a player on waivers for 45 days termination pay at the adjusted rate.

July 23 or 24 — Opening day, active rosters reduced to 30 players.

Aug. 6 or 7 — Active rosters reduced to 28 players.

Aug. 20 or 21 — Active rosters reduced to 26 players.

Aug. 31 — Last day during the season to trade a player.

Sept. 15 — Last day to be contracted to an organization and be eligible for postseason roster.

Sept. 29-30 — Wild-card games.

Oct. 20 — World Series starts.

BALLPARKS

ACCESS AREAS

Tier One: Maximum 60 players, one manager, 12 coaches, six physicians (two maximum at any time), and two each of bullpen catchers, athletic trainers, physical therapists and strength and conditioning coaches, plus umpires and translators.

Tier Two: Up to 38 other essential personnel per team with a need access to clubhouses, dugouts, fields, training rooms and weight rooms, such as owners, front office, travel, communications, clubhouse and security staff, and head groundskeeper.

Tier Three: Up to 150 personnel per team. People who perform essential event services but do not require close contact with Tier One individuals. This tier may include broadcast and replay personnel, cleaning service providers, groundskeepers, transportation providers and additional stadium and security personnel not assigned to restricted areas. Teams can designate up to 150 Tier 3 Individuals at any given time.

SHOWERS

Use of showers “is discouraged but not prohibited.”

TRAINING ROOMS

Occupancy limits. Players and team staff should wear disposable surgical masks while in training rooms.

TEAM MEETINGS

Should be conducted outdoors to the extent possible.

CLUBHOUSES

Minimum of 6 feet between stalls, to the extent practicable. Teams should construct temporary space if needed. Buffet spreads are prohibited and group dining is discouraged. Communal video terminals is prohibited and players will be provided with personalized iPad programs that can be loaded before and after games. Players cannot enter more than five hours before the scheduled first pitch, except those undergoing rehabilitation. Players with no in-game or postgame responsibilities are encouraged to leave early. Players must leave within 90 minutes of the end of a game, unless medical treatment or rehab is needed.

TREATMENT

Use of hydrotherapy and cryotherapy units permitted for pre- and postgame treatment, with a limit of one person at a time, including whirlpools and plunge pools.

BATTING CAGES

Use discouraged when hitting outdoors is feasible.

BULLPENS

Pitchers provided with a personal set of baseballs. Multiple pitchers should avoid throwing bullpens at the same time unless necessary in game. If there are simultaneous warmups during a game, pitchers should use every other mound to maintain distance, if possible.

DUGOUTS

To allow physical distancing, only Tier 1 Individuals active for that day’s game and who are likely to enter that game should be in the dugout. Inactive players can sit in auxiliary seating areas, including in the stands and with 6 feet of space between, with adequate shelter from weather. Dugout restrictions on electronic equipment also apply to auxiliary seating areas. Leaning on the dugout railing or ledges is discouraged, but permissible with use of a clean towel as a barrier. Dugout phones to be disinfected with anti-viral wipes after each use. Batting helmets must be individually cleaned and wrapped before being placed in equipment bags.

WEIGHT ROOMS

Occupancy limits and equipment relocated to better ventilated or outdoor areas if feasible.

REPLAY ROOMS

Off limits to Tier One.

TRAVEL

GROUND TRANSPORT

Tier One and Two individuals camnot take bus or subway from residences or hotels to the ballpark but can take private transportation (including Uber and Lyft vehicles that meet CDC standards) or walk.

AIR TRANSPORT

Teams should use private airports or private entrances at public airports when possible. Teams should attempt to arrange TSA screening at ballparks or plane side. Whenever possible, charter flights should include first-class accommodations. Middle seats should be blocked. Members of travel party to be provided a single bag pre-packed with food, drink, snacks and disinfection wipes. Teams to provide at least two buses for transfers from airport to hotel, hotel to ballpark and ballpark to airport. Window seats should be boarded first and disembarked last. All travel party members must wear face coverings for bus travel. Windows on buses, including any emergency exits on the roof, should be opened if possible. Main boarding gates should be avoided at train stations.

HOTELS

No one in traveling party can make separate public or private housing arrangements on the road. Room visits are permitted only by members of the traveling party, and immediate family members of the traveling party. Lower floors to be arranged where possible, so stairs can be used. No rooms on floors of the traveling party are to be booked for people not in the traveling party. No members of the travel party can eat in any restaurants in or outside the hotel. The travel party cannot use hotel fitness center, pool, sauna or other shared hotel facility without advance team approval, which shall not be granted unless the team has exclusive use of the facility during its stay and the area is appropriately sanitized. Hotels are to make private entrances and exits available. A private area to be provided for check in. The team is provided individual hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and other cleaning products. Hotel staff assigned to the team must adhere to the team’s cleaning and hygiene protocols and must clean and disinfect touchpoints several times a day in areas accessible to the traveling party.

— Associated Press

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