Early this week we started seeing reports that Major League Baseball was discussing a plan that involved sending all 30 teams to Arizona to try and get a season started out of Chase Field and the spring training facilities. The plan was seen, by most, as tough to implement in the way that baseball was hoping that it could be. Of course, it makes sense to at least have the discussions and try to have some sort of plan in place in case the situations become more favorable (more testing, better testing, treatments that are both available and useful, etc.).

Today there is a new report out from Bob Nightengale of USA Today that another option that Major League Baseball is looking at is to hold two different “leagues” this year – with one at the spring training complexes in both Arizona and in Florida. The American League and National League wouldn’t exist in 2020, but instead there’s be basically a Cactus League and a Grapefruit League.

There would still be three divisions in each league – broken up by location in their spring training area. One proposal would have the Cincinnati Reds in a division with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, and their home-sharer of Goodyear Ballpark Cleveland.

Another interesting thing with this plan is that there’s also a possibility that for the 2020 season that a designated hitter would be implemented for all teams. That is helpful on two fronts. The first being that with re-alignment that has both traditional American League and National League teams playing each other every day it’s just easier on everyone to not have to alter things every other day depending on who is the home or away team. But second, and perhaps more importantly – it may save you some pitchers in a scenario where you don’t have to pull guys to pinch hit for them. And if there’s going to be more games, fewer off days – with the idea that you play as many games as possible to make up for lost time – having to churn through fewer players on a daily basis on the mound is probably a good plan.

Much like the plan discussed earlier in the week, there are many things that still need to happen in order for this one to work. Many of those things are the same ones that the other plan hinged on: Better, faster, and accurate testing near the top of the list. But there’s also figuring out how to manage all of the non-baseball player staff that would be involved, as well as the travel and accommodations staff that would be required to make such a plan work. The logistical nightmare that this would be…. well, whoever would be in charge of making it happen deserves a raise, and I don’t even know what that person makes right now.

25 Responses

  1. DHud

    That’s a tough “division” the reds would find themselves in

  2. Jeff Greer

    But there would be little to no involvement of Reds fans. Or any teams fans

    • Jay

      My sentiments exactly. So fans would basically be paying salary for players they don’t get to watch play at GABP or Ohio for that matter. I call BS.

      • Colorado Red

        TV might, but how would the fans? If they cannot go to a game?

  3. Dick Paterson

    If anyone has ever been in Phoenix in summer, you can see an obvious drawback to this plan.

    • Greg

      This plan means 7 games a day in AZ, probably 3 in the dome. 4 games at 8pm, or 10 am. Much better than all games in AZ.

  4. RedNat

    I think this year will be like the 1987 nfl “scab” year. the young players that need the money will stick around Arizona and florida and play. I just don’t see multimillionaires like Joey Votto risking their health to play.
    it may be fun to watch young , hungrier players bust their tail to try to gain roster spots for next season or whenever baseball really opens back up.

  5. Tom Mitsoff

    Minimizing travel seems to be a major component of the various proposals. The idea to have half of the teams in Florida and half in Arizona makes much more sense than having all of them in Arizona.

    Having 15 teams in Arizona means you can play three games per day in enclosed Chase Field, and then three to four others at the various outdoor venues at night. The benefit of that would be to reduce the number of games each team would have to play outdoors in Arizona. The players will certainly be in favor of that.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      In Florida, both Tampa Bay and Miami have roofed stadiums, which would give numerous options to avoid playing outdoors in the heat.

      While it’s not attractive from a competitive standpoint to be in a division with the Dodgers, it would certainly be a blast from the past for yours truly. When I was a kid, the Dodgers were the number one foe of the Big Red Machine in the NL West, and those games were always special. I would get a particular charge out of playing meaningful divisional games against the Dodgers if that comes to pass.

      • Scott C

        Going back to the days of THE BIG RED MACHINE. maybe we will get the same result as 75 and 76.

      • wizeman

        I am with you on that. Dodger games in the 70’s were a blast.
        Plus they hung out after every game at The Barn. A rib place in Gano Alley.
        Ron Cey,,,,, nice guy.
        Garvey…. not so much

  6. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Oooo, mmmm. . .

    Well, my thinking is, during these times, the “normal rules” get dropped. For, these times aren’t normal.

    So, doing Grapefruit/Cactus leagues or just a Cactus league I wouldn’t mind. But, if there was any way that the teams would get back up here, I do think they should get back up here. And, I do believe its realistic to consider getting back up here.

    So, if we come back up here, I guess we could be competing against the same teams, no DL type of thing.

    I guess I could be for that. As long as everyone is still planning on coming back up here.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      They have to be considering just how likely it is for crowds to be allowed anywhere, particularly shoulder to shoulder in stadiums and arenas, for the foreseeable future. If crowds are not allowed, it makes all the sense in the world to play the games in Florida and Arizona and save tremendously on the cost of air travel all over the country all summer. MLB will at least be able to receive revenue from the local and national TV deals.

  7. TR

    For an abbreviated season, the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues make some sense with each league having 15 teams. In terms of travel, players and their families could go by their personal car instead of using mass transportation. Arizona has four ST sites with two teams each so the travel distance is pretty concentrated. Florida has two ST sites with two teams each, and the six teams on the east coast are all within a reasonable distance. There are nine teams on the Fla. west coast, and going from coast to coast within Fla. is not a particularly easy trip if mass transport is not used.

  8. Jay

    I hope this is just speculation and never actually comes to fruition. So MLB is going to rob the home fans of any glory associated with their team winning championships? I’d rather see the season canceled then deal with a year of “Sandlot” baseball.

  9. Tom Mitsoff

    Keep this in mind: If the DH is univeral this year, that means Aristides Aquino can be the starting right fielder and Castellanos could be the DH.

    • MBS

      I’m always amazed at the hate on Aquino. I’d say the Reds signed Castellanos as an insurance policy on Winker and Senzel remaining healthy, as much if not more than they did for insurance for Aquino’s bat. BTW Senzel had a .256 BA with a .315 OBP, and a .742 OPS, not exactly a white hot bat. Regardless Tom is right about Aquino Role if the Reds get a DH. Votto might get some time at DH to, since he’s no spring chicken.

    • MBS

      I was using hate, as in hating on. Not you literally hate Aquino. Aquino has been receiving a lot of grief (less problematic wording) this offseason from fans. Also I like Senzel too, but the entire season counts. I’m just pointing out how many fans will be quick to make excuses for Senzel, and quickly dismiss Aquino’s numbers. It might not be you, but it does seem to be the majority opinion on these threads.

  10. RedsFan11

    Nice to see less doom and gloom on here today. It would be interesting to see this for sure!

  11. MBS

    The only thing about this scenario that I don’t get is. Why have any divisions? I guess to have some semblance of normalcy? Perfect time to get as funky as you want MLB, test, learn, innovate, throw it all at the wall and see what sticks. 2021 can be as traditional as you want.

  12. redfan4life

    I hope they send the N.L. teams to one state and the A.L. teams to another. Hopefully it is not a mix and match thing. I don’t wanna see the leagues get disbanded.

    • Doug Gray

      Bad news: There’s almost no way the teams agree to that. They all have their own facilities, with offices, technology, and infrastructure that’s needed there to operate. The Reds aren’t going to let the Marlins use their stuff, just like the Marlins aren’t going to let the Reds use their stuff.

    • TR

      The virus has affected the world. It’s a tough time for everyone. Slowly but surely we’ll get the best of it. The National and American leagues have been around for over a hundred years. They’re not going to be disbanded.

    • Colorado Red

      How about AL East, NL East, AL Central in FLA and AL West, NL West, AND NL Central in AZ.
      Keep the divisions the same, then a champion of Fla, and AZ, play for the WC in a neutral field.
      This keeps the divisions the same.

  13. Colorado Red

    The only problem with that, is if some of the teams in the central play in Florida and some in AZ.
    Else I agree.