As society and the sports world collectively deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, efforts are being made by the professional leagues to resume their respective seasons as soon as possible.
Major League Baseball is reportedly discussing a scenario in which all 30 teams would begin the regular season in Arizona as early as May. Though, the proposal comes with many restrictions.
For one, games would only be played at Chase Field and upwards of 10 Spring Training facilities without fans being allowed to attend.
Players, coaches, and stadium and hotel employees, among others, would additionally be quarantined in the area — essentially only being allowed to travel back-and-forth from the ballpark.
While some are onboard with the proposal, others have not been as receptive and may further voice their objection if MLB moves forward with the Arizona plan. As it is, Los Angeles Dodgers starter Alex Wood opined that the concept wouldn’t sit well with everybody, via Andy McCullough of The Athletic:
“I personally don’t think that everyone would go for it,” Wood said. “I think (the Arizona plan is) a possibility if we know for certain that that’s the only way we can play baseball. Does that make sense? I don’t have kids or anything like that. I’m down for whatever. I just want to play ball.”
One of the biggest issues about the scenario to begin the regular season in Arizona is that players would be unable to visit their families due to the requirement of self-quarantining in between games.
While the plan has garnered support from MLB, the MLB Players Association and multiple health organizations, it is said to only be in a concept stage.
On Tuesday, MLB released a statement that refuted the notion it settled on a solution.
“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,” their statement read.
“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.
“The health and safety of our employees, players, fans and the public at large are paramount, and we are not ready at this time to endorse any particular format for staging games in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the coronavirus.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!