There have been plenty of ideas floated out there for Major League Baseball and how they could potentially proceed with baseball in the best manner. They’ve talked about having all 30 teams in the Phoenix area and playing out of Chase Field and the spring training ballparks. Another idea was to have a split Cactus-Grapefruit League this year, where one would play in Phoenix and the other in Florida at the home spring training facilities in each state. There was also reportedly a plan that was scrapped early on about playing in Japan – which turned out to be a good thing because they’ve seen real issues in the country with their outbreak.

Late last night R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports reported that there’s another plan on the table being discussed over the past few days that would have a 3-state breakdown. Arizona and Florida would be joined by Texas as the third “site”. There are keys to each “site”. In both Arizona and Florida there are spring training facilities – so you’ve got a lot of ballparks to work with. Arizona also has Chase Field as a domed ballpark, while Florida has both St. Pete and Miami as domed ballparks.

And then there’s Texas. According to Anderson, the “Texas League”, not to be confused with a minor league league that goes by the same name at the Double-A level, would take place in Arlington where the Rangers are opening a new stadium with a domed roof (next door to their old ballpark), as well as in Houston which has a retractable roof.

As it is with the other plans – these are just ideas that have been thrown out there. Major League Baseball is simply trying to have different ideas, and sort-of plans to work from if and when things get to a point where they believe they can actually play baseball – they want to not be starting from scratch on what they want to do.

Yesterday afternoon we looked at how baseball is playing out in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan (where it’s not being played out) right now. In Taiwan their regular season has already started. In Korea they are starting up spring training and have set their regular season opener date for May 5th. So there’s some good news everywhere in the baseball world, even if it’s half-way around the world.

Photo of Chase Field by Dicklyon. License can be found here.

30 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    I see this as a hard sell no matter what. The season, if it happens, already has a big ASTERISK next to it. Every variant at this point adds at least another one.

    • TR

      Asterisk or not, if the numerous details are worked out it’s still baseball as far as I’m concerned.

      • Mark Moore

        True enough. I’m personally bemoaning this is the 30 year anniversary of that magic season. I scored the entire 1990 set of baseball cards late last year. I have the Reds culled out in a stack.

        But baseball is baseball in the end. I’ll get my MLB-tv subscription and watch games.

  2. AirborneJayJay

    Just picking nits here, but shouldn’t the headline be 3 state plan instead of 3 city plan?
    If MLB can get the State of California on board, I can envision a 4 state plan. That would give MLB 5 more major league stadium venues to work with. However, I don’t think California is going to allow for that.
    One thing I heard yesterday is that most of the players and players union are adamant about not playing any games this season in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Baltimore and Detroit. Can you blame them? Other than New Orleans those are the festering Eastetn hot spots. All of those places were late to implement the shutdown and stay at home policies. And those places have something else in common, they are led by very incompetent politicians.
    If I were a MLB player I certainly would not put my safety, health and life in the hands of imbecile politicians.

    • greenmtred

      Without getting into the quality of leadership anywhere, a hot spot is a moving target. New York, for instance, has plateaued and is experiencing a decrease in new cases and deaths. Other areas still haven’t approached their peaks, so the safest place this week might be a dangerous place next week.

    • RyanST

      I enjoy comments regarding baseball but this isn’t the Fox News website, my friend.

  3. Sliotar

    To each their own … everyone has an opinion …

    but I truly do not understand the fearfulness and negativity expressed by many here regarding a 2020 MLB season.

    If MLB players, in their prime of their lives, want to play and MLB can try (nothing in life is certain, we have been reminded of that) to set up an environment to make it happen …. should we not look forward to it?

    If the majority of players don’t want to play … then that’s that. But, I don’t believe that. At all.

  4. Sliotar

    Take Curt Casali.

    Age 32 season … scheduled to make $1.463 million in 2020. Arb 3 in 2021.

    Projected at 80 wRC+…20% below league average.

    Peter Gammons (The Atheltic … paywall) wrote about a 3-year rehabilitation for MLB … if they play this year. It will take until 2023 before MLB is stabilized.

    Think Casali will be playing in 2023? I doubt it.

    If I was him… I would champing at the bit to get this year’s salary.

    In the real world …. most folks I know are anxious to get to back to work. Even if they are being paid to sit home…their businesses are mostly dying slowly staying closed.

    Would think a lot of MLB players, in shortened career spans, feel the same.

    • TR

      Agree. Getting back to work would be safer and easier if testing was available for everyone, but apparently it isn’t.

      • Mark Moore

        Yes, TR. Broad, accurate, quick results testing is still key to moving forward safely and successfully. Everything I read paints that as still a black hole of unknown.

    • RedNat

      I think during the brm era, heck 30 years ago, you would be right Sliotar. Players like Pete Rose would be demanding to get back on the field.

      today’s players are a lot different. they are much more health conscious. Also don’t think social media/ politics play a factor as well. the image of these players getting tested everyday while many sick Americans can’t get tested would cause tremendous “outrage” on twitter and other social platforms. Again the players of today are very conscious of the image they portray.

      that is why I really doubt we see baseball this year. the players just don’t seem to have that desire right now. I am thinking by next season though there will be a stronger push as even the veterans (some of them anyway) will start feeling the financial pain of being jobless

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I agree with this perspective. Maybe the $10-million-plus per year players on long-term deals can weigh the risks and be comfortable sitting out, but the majority of MLB players don’t earn that. I read the same article Sliotar is referencing. Free agency money is going to absolutely dry up after this season (if there is one). If your contract expires after the 2020 season, good luck! Nick Castellanos will be glad he accepted the Reds contract that he did, and Marcell Ozuna will WISH he had taken the reported Reds offer of three years (instead of the one-year deal in Atlanta).

      Players in the position of expiring contracts know they had better get on the field for as many games as they can in 2020, because they are going to NEED to have that money in their accounts to compensate for what will be a bottoming out of the player salary market for at least the following year or two.

  5. Telecaster

    I think this whole idea is wrong. If you figure 15 games a day in Mlb 5 stadiums isn’t enough. You probably need 1-2 hours in between games for cleaning. So 3 games per day in each stadium, not happening.

    • Doc

      Why do you have to clean between games if there are no fans allowed?

      • JayTheRed

        They would need to clean the locker rooms and dugouts and bullpens. Basically any area the ballplayers access. With each new team coming in they would need to clean to be safe.

    • Doug Gray

      They’d utilize more than just those 5 stadiums. There are a lot of stadiums in Arizona and Florida at the spring training sites that would be used. The domes provide the ability to move games there for bad weather to not lose as many games as you otherwise would.

      • Colorado Red

        Yes, but Phoenix is hotter then stink in the summer.
        I went on a business trip there one summer, and the radio guy said 108 day, and tomorrow it gets hot.

        On days like that, it would be hot to play at 9AM or 9PM.

      • Doug Gray

        The AZL rookie players play games every single night out there. It’s not great, but they do it.

  6. Telecaster

    I’m not saying clean a whole stadium. Lockers, press areas, broadcast booths, etc. It will take time just for players to shower, pack up everything that they normally leave for a whole series etc..

    • Colorado Red

      As well as BP, and other warm ups.
      My guess is if you start at 9AM for game 1. 2 PM for game 2 and 7:30 for game 3, it might work most of the time,

  7. Old-school

    I really thought MLB would be played in a modified season by July 1. But the NBA can’t even figure this out without fans with 75% of the season already done . Its late April and the NBA commissioner can’t figure out how to play a 4 or 8 team playoff without fans to crown a champ.
    That’s very telling.

    I don’t think people are understanding this is a new normal with a constant risk for the foreseeable future yet 99+% of folks will get through. There’s no all clear sign coming.

    • jim walker

      I agree. There is a culture shock happening that we are all to a greater or lesser degree having to confront in our lives. Nothing is or for a very long time, if ever, going to be like it was before this pandemic arrived in the US.

      The players and all personnel required to stage the games, including media personnel covering the games, are going to require some form of segregation from normal everyday life to assure the virus does not infiltrate the playing environment.

      What we know now indicates that entering this segregation will require a 14 day quarantine. Anybody who leaves the playing environment will have to go back through quarantine to reenter the environment.

      Heaven forbid, if any of these players or game production personnel should contract the virus while in the playing environment. The entire operation could end up back in lockdown.

      And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We presume that advertisers are going to buy time to support the TV coverage and/ or fans will pay for premium subscriptions to see the games TV. But what if they don’t because the economy of personal finances are just too tight because due to conditions in the country? Or even if they do, at what rate will they be willing and able to pay? Will the operation be able raise enough cash to make it worth its while to continue?

      • VaRedsFan

        Jim, You could remove the 14 day quarantine by just testing anyone that leaves the segregated area when they come back in. Positive test, you can’t enter, negative, good to go.

      • Doug Gray

        You can’t really do that though because there’s just no way you can control what, and who, is coming in and out of the hotel they’re staying at. You need to be testing the players (and other staff) with regularity. There’s no way that hotel employees, for example, are going to agree to also just quarantine at the hotel for months at a time without outside access. It’s hard enough to sell that to guys making half a million a year (and more for non-rookies). That’s definitely not going to be on the table for people making $8-18 an hour.

      • Sliotar

        FWIW … because of what I do (logistics) … am guessing if there is a MLB season…

        The teams will furlough most of their home city personnel and contribute to a MLB-league office managed pool of support personnel in the “Bio Dome” cities.

        -Local workers, no need for hotels, like with club employees
        -Can be pre-screened, understand risks, willing to be tested daily
        -Understands it is a (presumed) one-season, temporary assignment

        There are enough unemployed/underemployed folks everwhere (sadly) and the thrill of saying you were employed by MLB …. will have no problem finding folks, IMO.

      • Old-school

        Hospitals are mostly fine and very soon case #’ s in most locales will be regressing. These are 2/4 criteria for re- opening things. The third is testing and that is hindering things now. I suspect in 2 months that will be remedied. There are tests right now that can give an answer in one hour. It’s just most are being diverted to hot spots and there needs to be millions… Not a handful.

        The logistics mentioned are the real rub because it gets to contact tracing and how to.aggressively identify and isolate new cases and trace contacts to then isolate them to manage / prevent new hot spots. That’s how you prevent resurgence. That requires sophisticated public health strategies and armies of people working every day. This last piece is why I’m not optimistic as it’s aways off and what is preventing the NBA from finishing it’s season and any other sports from getting any traction moving forward x the PGA.

        I don’t see any fans watching games in any sport until perhaps MLB in 2021.
        It’s heartbreaking to see the businesses shuttered. What a great time it was at GABP last summer with all the restaurants. Bars. Hotels and atmosphere for Reds baseball.

      • Old-school

        MLB.NBA NFL aren’t going to assume responsibility for covid 19 prevention. They are waiting for direction and a coherent plan from public health that all will agree too.

      • JayTheRed

        Old School – Wisconsin just had the most new cases yet in a single day today. I know other states are having numbers going up. Yes some places are going down as well but this thing is far from over.

        Some experts are predicting this could be an up and down roller coaster for the next 18 months.

  8. RedNat

    uggh, just read an article that said there is up to 40% false negative with the corona testing. even if we tested every player everyday that would leave the players and staff too vulnerable to catching it. the news is just getting worse everyday!

  9. TR

    There seems to be an intense effort underway to find a coronavirus vaccine with the anticipated time frame of 18 months from now. Providing time for approvals and mass distribution, I would estimate the new normal in society including non-distanced fans in the stands will occur sometime in 2022.