MLB playoff bubble: MLBPA agrees to neutral-site places for league 2020 postseason

Major League Baseball’s 2020 Postson Bubble Plan has been announced by the MLB Players Association, MLB, on Tuesday. The Division Series, League Championship Series, and World Series will all be held at the neutral-site ballpark, where players will be set up in a nearby one-place bubble.

A bubble approach to MLB will help reduce the risk of another coronavirus outbreak. Shortly after the 2020 season began, a major coronavirus outbreak occurred among the Miami Marlins. The St. Louis Cardinals also suffered from a team-wide outbreak and both endanger the MLB season. All in all, the league has been forced to postpone a total of 43 games on the schedule due to positive COVID-19 cases.

Here are specific bubble locations for extended playoffs:

  • NLDS: Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas in Houston and Minute Med Park
  • ALDS: Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles
  • NLCS: Globe Life Field
  • ALCS: Petco Park
  • World Series: Globe Life Field

A COVID-19 outbreak during the postseason will wreak havoc on the tournament’s schedule and competitive integrity. Baseball’s postseason also coincides with the beginning of the flu season, so incentives are added to determine a safe option to separate players.

Here are three things to know about the league’s plan for the 2020 playoffs:

1. This will change from the regular season

When Major League Baseball returned to play in July, it was the only major American professional team sports league committed to travel amid the coronovirus epidemic. Other sports leagues such as the WNBA, NBA and MLS determined that an on-location bubble setup was the right choice for the play plans for their return.

Our RJ Anderson first broke down on why baseball didn’t use the bubble plan for the regular 2020s.

When baseball first returned, there were no formal restrictions for players or any other team personnel, such as managers and coaches. Following outbreaks within the Marlins and Cardinals organizations, the league doubled when wearing masks in the dugout during the game and following social away guidelines.

The league also added the requirement that each team travel with a compliance officer, which ensures that team personnel and players follow the league’s health and safety protocols.

Although the league’s postseason setup won’t completely end the trip – it will actually be the first team to leave geographically based divisions – a bubble setup for each series in the postseason will help reduce the likelihood of an outbreak. Players will likely have to follow similar strict guidelines from the regular season.

2. Quarantine for players, families to start the week before playoffs

While negotiating the format for this year’s postseason, one of the differences between the players and the league was a ban for families of players who want to enter the bubble. Until Tuesday, families will be allowed to be with the players, and during the postman, Rosenthal Report.

Players’ families will be allowed to quarantine with players in teams for seven days, leading in the postseason. Then, they would remain together for the entirety of their team’s playoff run. For those families who decide to go this route, they will be considered part of the MLB bubble. All members inside the bubble will be tested daily.

According to the NY Post’s Joel Sherman, all players on the competing teams will go to hotels “creating a quarantine-like situation before the playoffs” to begin next week (the last week of the regular season). Here is more than Sherman:

Some players fought against the concept, believing that the game had done well in reducing COVID-19 cases last month and they were concerned that teams going into quarantine and reaching the World Series in late September would spend a month. May or may not be far from families.

But the MLB has strongly expressed fear of coming this far and not ending the playoffs and has worked hard for the safest possible protocol to end the year.

Therefore the plan that was formulated required all competing clubs – even at home – to visit a hotel in the last week of the regular season. All players on the 40-man roster and IL will be asked to join that quarantine, because once started, clubs can no longer call a player from the alternate site to join the 28-man roster – It will be only those who are quarantine.

As soon as the teams are eliminated from the playoff controversy, players from those clubs can leave the hotel if they wish.

Families of managers and coaches were not included in the MLB / MLBPA agreement because there simply was not enough capacity in the hotels. But, as soon as the postson field is narrow, the room will be, Says rosenthal. All members will be tested daily inside the bubble.

3. Locations are set; Presence is in the air

The World Series will be held at Rangers’ new ballpark, and the bubbles are such that no team will play at home after the first round. In three to three wild card rounds at the start of the layoffs, the high seed will host all games at their home ballpark. They are set to begin the series on September 27, the days following the start of the regular season and will quickly trim playoff fields for eight teams that will move to neutral sites.

Fans have not been able to attend MLB games this season due to the epidemic, although that may change in October. Speaking earlier this week, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he expected fans to participate in LCS and World Series games in some capacity.