John Roux / Associated Press
The Major League Baseball and MLB Players Association reportedly tied up to host most of the 2020 playoffs, including the Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series, in the neutral-site “bubble”.
Ken Rozenthal The Athletic reported the news and expected an official announcement later on Tuesday.
ESPN’s Jeff Passon reported details for the bubble scheme on Friday, with the National League expected to play in Texas while the American League plays in California:
Jeff pasan @Jeffpassan
Baseball’s bubble plan has been set. Now all baseball needs is how to integrate families. News on ESPN at all playoff locations, what are the hold ups and why there is growing confidence that a deal to codify it could happen next week: https://t.co/hZ2Y4GPAkt https://t.co / cWqDwildFT
Joel Sherman’s New york post More information provided:
One of the few sticking points in the talks was how the league handled quarantine requirements for family members of players who hoped to enter the bubble. Details are still uncertain, per Rosenthal.
Third baseman Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers was among critics of a plan that would force families to quarantine for seven days. They told Rosenthal Last week his family could indulge in road games during the regular season, as long as they traveled on a private plane or flew themselves:
“You’re asking us to choose between our families and the playoffs! It’s a stupid question, especially when we’ve played a number of successful games this season. Apparently, there were two early blips (outbreak with the Miami Marlins and St. ) Louis Cardinals) but it was out of poor choices by individuals. Also, it has been a very successful season. Why change all protocols now?
“… We finish the last week of our season at home. I’m at my house with my wife. Then they’re like, ‘We’ve got to separate you guys.” I don’t understand why she would be different. I stayed with her the whole season. “
An MLB source said that the athletic league needs to take extra precautions for the postseason.
“You can’t just be in a position to roll the dice and say, ‘Look, the Dodgers have recovered so far. Let’s hope it stays that way,” the source said. “If you’re running a league, it’s not the type of policy you want. It’s basically a luck-based policy.”
The MLB did not use the bubble concept during the regular season, and the first round of the extended 16-team playoff will take place at the high seed home stadium.
The NBA and NHL are among the leagues that have successfully used the bubble to complete their postman, and MLB will follow in their footsteps.
A short 60-game regular season is scheduled to end on September 27. The playoff will begin on September 29 before the bubble shifts in early October. The last possible date of the World Series is 31 October.