Major League Baseball has been trying to figure out ways to get the 2020 season underway amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. They appear to be going with the philosophy of throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks.
On Tuesday morning, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported high level MLB officials were growing “increasingly confident games will be played in 2020” and thought a start date somewhere between mid-June and July 4th was the most realistic scenario.
Later in the afternoon, USA Today reporter Bob Nightengale reported on specifics of a plan that is the latest option. It referenced a similar timeline, and would offer a one-year realignment of the league to cut down on travel. The realignment would remove AL and NL designations, and instead create three 10-team divisions: East, Central, West. Nightengale suggested this as a possible realignment structure.
- New York Yankees and Mets, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins
- Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners
- Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers
The plan would allow for teams to play in their home parks, but also depends in part on Covid-19 testing available to the public. Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has said suggested (but not said it’s a requirement) broad testing would be needed to maintain player safety, even in a fan-less environment.
For now, MLB and other leagues looking to get things going are throwing out whatever they can in hopes of figuring out a viable option.