While Major League Baseball has made it clear no decision has been made on how to begin and move forward with the 2020 regular season, an array of options have already surfaced in discussions with the MLB Players Association.
Two scenarios that became public were all 30 clubs playing at Spring Training facilities in Arizona and Chase Field, and another that called for division realignment within the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues.
The idea with both possibilities is to quarantine players, coaches, TV personnel and all others associated with league operations. There are logistical hurdles to accomplishing as much, but it in theory would help safeguard against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Meanwhile, the hope of the Los Angeles Dodgers playing in front of fans at Dodger Stadium continues to appear more grim by the day.
“The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible, at best, until we get to herd immunity and we get to a vaccine,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in his daily address.
“So large-scale events that bring in hundreds, thousands, tends of thousands of strangers all together across every conceivable difference of health and otherwise, is not in the cards based upon our current guidelines and expectations.
“Things can change radically. If we get our therapeutics at scale and community testing at scale, and capacity to get vaccines earlier than we anticipated, that can change the dynamics. So I want to caution my own words in that context. But when you suggest June, July, August, it is unlikely.”
Los Angeles County remains under a safer-at-home order, which health and elected officials recently extended to May 15.
Although Newsom intends to unveil a plan on how California can begin to re-open its economy, he has remained steadfast against mass gatherings. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still has a recommendation in place that gatherings of 50 or more people not be held at least until May 10.
With the Dodgers facing those factors, they would appear to be best-suited for a plan that has MLB beginning in another state. Of course, that also comes with the obstacle of not every player supporting that type of environment.
Alex Wood and Justin Turner are among those on board with the idea of quarantining in order to play, but Clayton Kershaw said he would not leave his family for upwards of four-plus months.
Beyond that, comments from Newsom and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti make it difficult to envision the 2020 MLB All-Star Game being played at Dodger Stadium this year. If MLB is moved to cancel the event, the Midsummer Classic could make its long-awaited return to Los Angeles in 2022.
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