Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association have been at odds over a plan to play an abbreviated 2020 season for weeks.

And while they still disagree about plenty of things, both sides agree they’d like to play baseball into the fall. A late-October or November completion date doesn’t appear to be out of the question just yet, though negotiations are at a standstill.

Should they come to some sort of agreement, however, Dr. Anthony Fauci thinks the season should go no longer than September.

“If the question is time, I would try to keep it in the core summer months and end it not with the way we play the World Series, until the end of October when it’s cold,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said in a telephone interview with The Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. “I would avoid that.”

Several MLB players and coaches reportedly have tested positive for the coronavirus of late, leading the league to wonder if it’s even safe to begin a season at this time. And with cases expected to spike in September, Fauci believes it’s probably a good idea not to let the season go much further than that. (Underscore the “probably” part, he says.)

“This virus is one that keeps fooling us. Under most circumstances — but we don’t’ know for sure here — viruses do better when the weather starts to get colder and people start spending more time inside, as opposed to outside,” Fauci said. “The community has a greater chance of getting infected.

“The likelihood is that, if you stick to the core summer months, you are better off, even though there is no guarantee. … If you look at the kinds of things that could happen, there’s no guarantee of anything. You would want to do it at a time when there isn’t the overlap between influenza and the possibility of a fall second wave.”

The clock is ticking, and MLB is running out of time, and fast.

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