As the calendar turned to May, the growing consensus among Major League Baseball players and executives was that a 2020 regular season can still be salvaged in some form.
However, one figures to come with many limitations. MLB has discussed a multitude of options that would allow play to resume as soon as next month, and almost all of them call for teams beginning the year in a centralized location.
In the proposed Arizona plan, all 30 clubs would relocate to the Grand Canyon State to play their games at Chase Field and upwards of 10 Spring Training facilities. MLB was also thought to be considering Florida, Texas and additional states as potential sites for games.
Amid some pushback from players, MLB changed its course and owners agreed on a proposal that calls for games to be played at home ballparks. While reflecting on his time spending summer months in Arizona, Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Walker Buehler recently voiced his hope of playing at Dodger Stadium this season, via SportsNet LA:
“I actually did most of my rehab out there, so I’ve been there during those months. I remember getting off the plane after I had my Tommy John surgery and thinking, ‘What have I got myself into?’ I was wearing sweatpants and it was about 115 (degrees) outside. It is what it is.
“I think we have a good amount of dome stadiums that we can hopefully get into. Texas has the new dome, Seattle, all the domes all over, including Arizona. I think that leads to the thought of natural site stuff, and I think some people are already thinking that way. But I think it’s hard to beat trying to play baseball at Dodger Stadium, and I hope we can figure out a way to make that happen.”
As some states begin to ease restrictions on social distancing guidelines, it is unclear how many stadiums MLB will be able to find a path where teams can safely take the field.
Even if that is able to come to fruition, teams will likely still play their games in a fan-less environment. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti recently suggested sporting events with fans in the city won’t be approved until 2021.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has continuously shared a similar sentiment.
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