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SportsPulse: Sports mental health expert Eric Kussin lists the reason why we need to keep a close eye on athletes as they return to action because there's more at play than just their physical well being. USA TODAY

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Commissioner Rob Manfred, after a conference call Monday night with the Major League Baseball owners, has decided to schedule a 60-game season beginning in late July, four high-ranking officials told USA TODAY Sports.

The officials spoke to USA TODAY Sports only on the condition of anonymity because MLB has yet to announce the 2020 schedule.

Manfred, who has the right to unilaterally implement a season after Trevor Bauer tweeted. “Both sides. We’re driving the bus straight off a cliff. How is this good for anyone involved? Covid 19 already presented a lose-lose-lose situation and we’ve somehow found a way to make it worse. Incredible.’’

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Sure, there will be games, but there’ll be hostility.

Gone are the expanded playoffs.

Gone are the enhanced broadcasts.

Gone will be anything but minimal cooperation.

There will be grievances exchanged, with each side accusing each other of intentionally sabotaging negotiations.

There will be players ripping owners.

There will be owners ripping players.

There will be players who may elect to sit out the season.

There will be lower-paid players who actually will be playing for free the rest of the year considering they already received their $285,000 in upfront money, and will earn less with just 60 games remaining.

There may be no bonuses for players making the World Series, let alone even the postseason, if fans still aren’t permitted in the stands. Players typically receive their bonuses from the gate receipts in the first three games of the division series, and first four games of the league championship series and the World Series. But with no fans, no gate receipts.

During the regular season, with fans relegated to watching games at 真人百家家乐官网网站home, they’ll have to decide for themselves just how to even feel about the season.

It will be beyond ugly, with a free-agent market that will be virtually non-existent with teams snubbing players, blaming their economic losses. Players eligible for salary arbitration may now be non-tendered, flooding the marketplace. Players who have club options will be turned loose, too.

There will be long-term damage worth hundreds of millions of dollars caused by the impact of this stalemate.

You think this was nasty, just wait until they start negotiating towards their next collective bargaining agreement, which expires Dec. 1, 2021.

Hello work stoppage, it’s baseball again.

The game has badly suffered enough since we last saw it played, @BNightengale.

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