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MLB plans 60-game slate, shortest since 1878, as union balks

 FILE - At left, in a March 17, 2015, file photo, Major League Baseball Players Association executive and former Detroit Tigers first baseman Tony Clark talks to the media before a spring training exhibition baseball game in Lakeland, Fla. At right, in a May 19, 2016, file photo, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to reporters during a news conference at Major League Baseball headquarters in New York. Negotiators for baseball players and owners are meeting this week in Irving, Texas, in an attempt to reach agreement on a collective bargaining agreement to replace the five-year contract that expires Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - At left, in a March 17, 2015, file photo, Major League Baseball Players Association executive and former Detroit Tigers first baseman Tony Clark talks to the media before a spring training exhibition baseball game in Lakeland, Fla. At right, in a May 19, 2016, file photo, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to reporters during a news conference at Major League Baseball headquarters in New York. Negotiators for baseball players and owners are meeting this week in Irving, Texas, in an attempt to reach agreement on a collective bargaining agreement to replace the five-year contract that expires Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/File) (WIBW)
Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 9:58 PM EDT
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NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball plans to unilaterally issue a 60-game schedule for its shortest season since 1878 after the players’ association rejected a negotiated deal of the same length, putting the sport on track for a combative return to the field amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Six days after Commissioner Rob Manfred and union head Tony Clark negotiated to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16, widen use of the designated hitter to National League games and introduce an experiment to start extra innings with a runner on second base, the deal was rejected by players.

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