The second half of the season began with the All Star Game on August 9th. The playoffs featured the winners of each half season (before and after the strike) in each division facing each other in the first round, creating an extra tier to the playoffs, much like the current Division Series.
The major issue behind the strike was that of free agent compensation, or, in other words, what compensation teams would receive if one of their star players was signed as a free agent by another team. The owners wanted a system whereby teams would receive a player of similar value, while the players were opposed, seeing that this would void their newly-acquired right to become free agents after playing out their contract. The example of the National Football League and National Hockey League, where compensation of this time had nipped free agency in the bud was very much on the players' mind. The resulting compromise was the Free agent compensation draft, which functioned for the next four years.
- Jeff Katz: Split Season: 1981: Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, Thomas Dunne Books, New York, NY, 2015. ISBN 978-1-2500-4521-8
- Jeff Katz: "Split Season 1981, Chicago Style", in Stuart Shea, ed.: North Side, South Side, All Around Town, The National Pastime, SABR, 2015. ISBN 978-1-93359987-8