MLB Plans To Continue Season With All Teams Playing In Arizona
The MLB is looking at all 30 teams playing the entire season in Arizona at ballparks around the greater area of Phoenix. The plan has reportedly been discussed over the past two weeks, and the MLB is trying to get something on the field while also keeping fans safe.
“MLB has been actively considering numerous contingency plans that would allow play to commence once the public health situation has improved to the point that it is safe to do so,” the MLB statement said. “While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan. While we continue to interact regularly with governmental and public health officials, we have not sought or received approval of any plan from federal, state and local officials, or the Players Association.
Although Arizona has had just over 2,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state, one of the less-afflicted areas in the country, the plan has been supported by federal officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, there are specific guidelines that have to be followed. These guidelines include team officials and essential personnel would be “sequestered” at local hospitals, and the only permitted travel would be between the ballpark and hotels, keeping with the CDC’s self-isolation and social-distancing guidelines. The umpire would also stand 6 feet behind the catcher, practicing social-distancing. An electronic strike zone would be implemented, and players would sit apart in the stands as opposed to in the dugout with one another.
The availability of coronavirus tests with a quick turnaround would be needed for the plan. That method of testing is expected to come in early May, which means a June start date is a likelier option.
Among the major sports, arguably none will have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic more than baseball. The start of the season has been delayed indefinitely with no guarantee that games will be played this season, even with this contingency plan in place.
Read more about: