Sources said Major League Baseball’s postson plan is almost set, with MLB Players Association approval that stands between baseball and a bubble, ESPN reported.
Sources said questions arise as to when and how the bubble will enter families, but some sort of neutral-venue playoff format is expected to be finalized next week.
In the March agreement between the parties, MLB was given the authority to stage a postseason that mimicked the bubble the NBA and NHL used to protect their players and employees from the outbreak of COVID-19. To modify the protocol – the key to a strong bubble -, players must agree to the changes.
The series of cursory bubble discussions broke out in April when players expressed reservations about leaving their families for months at a time and the league insisted on logically impediment.
Sources said that talks are going on between the league and the union about the young age bubble. Although the league does not require player approval to continue with the format, so much at stake – MLB can grow upwards of $ 1 billion in television revenue – as a key element to players’ willing participation Is seen. League restrictions are considered necessary.
As part of the plan, the World Series will begin at the Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, beginning October 20 and ending no later than October 28. This will conclude the playoff games for a month, starting with the top four seeds in each leaping hosting. All games in a best-of-three wild-card series. The four American League Series will play on 29, 30 and 1 October, and the National League will play on 30 September, 1 October and 2 October.
The highest remaining seed in the NL will play their division series in Arlington while the next highest seed will face their opponent at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. The top seed from AL will be the home team at Petco Park in San Diego, while the other series will be held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The AL Championship Series will take place in San Diego and the NLCS in Arlington, giving the NL’s top seed – the Los Angeles Dodgers – a path to a stable October.
The concern of the Dodgers players, previously stated by Athletic, underscores the gap between the sides. Because MLB players have spent the season outside a bubble – and, in many cases, around their families – the desire by some players to continue operating without the bubble’s ban is being voiced by the union, sources said.
Nevertheless, a positive test of the way playoffs are likely enough that MLB is emphasizing the extra security that the bubble specifically provides. A single positive coronovirus test can result in multiple postponements. In a tightly scheduled postseason with TV network commitments, such a possibility could be disastrous.
And with many positive tests in MLB being explored by family members this season, the league’s situation is simple: either families go through a quarantine period, enter the bubble and live with the players, or They can come to the host cities, but players stay away during the socially distant place.
While MLB has not faced a significant outbreak since the St. Louis Cardinals in July that wreaked havoc on their schedule, the fragility of the regular season – let alone the postseason – is evident. On Friday night, the San Francisco Giants postponed their game against the San Diego Padres after a positive test of someone in the organization. Saturday’s game between the teams will be postponed, and if the team follows the precedent, they will also sit on Sunday.
A bubble would theoretically help MLB weather any positive test. The lack of travel days in a typical playoff series allows the league to bake in days to wait for potential positives. On the other hand, its outbreak could signal the league to force a team to play immediately to use players from its alternate venue, something that the Cardinals or other team did not do, with a plethora of COVID cases. Thi, Miami Marcin.
The possibility of spending a month isolated in hotels is still not enough for the players, including the family. In any bubble scenario, the league would rent out the entire hotel, allowing players and their families free rein on the property. They will not be allowed to leave the hotel except to attend the Games.
Sources said that bubbles are bursting between the NBA and the NHL over the tedium of his life. At the same time, they recognize the success of other league bubbles – no one has tested positive – and the potential pitfalls of disrupting a playoff that is crucial to helping teams cope with a changing financial landscape. There are already fears among some that the free-agent market may be slower than normal by this winter; COVID may terminate a post-mans interrupted by cases.
A strike on when and how families enter the bubble is not the only obstacle. The MLB has also asked players to quarantine at the hotel in the final week of the regular season – even playing teams at home – so they don’t have to go through an intake period before the playoffs, sources said. For teams making the World Series, that could amount to a bubble life of five weeks.