As society continues to grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Major League Baseball and other professional sports leagues have begun formulating plans that would allow them to potentially resume their respective seasons.
MLB is hoping to kick off their 2020 campaign at some point in May, although it would likely come with significant restrictions. A plethora of proposals are being discussed, including one that involves all 30 teams beginning the year in Arizona.
Under this scenario, fans would not be permitted to attend games. Players, coaches and team employees, among others, are additionally expected to self-quarantine in between contests.
The plan has reportedly received early support from health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is a key member of the White House coronavirus task force.
Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, believes there is a path for professional sports to return, as long as the leagues follow the strict guidelines, via the Snap Originals’ YouTube channel:
“You know, regarding sports, I believe, and I think this is going to be implemented by the initiation and the initiative of the people who own these clubs. If you could get on television, Major League Baseball, to start July 4. Let’s say, nobody comes to the stadium. You just, you do it. I mean people say, ‘Well you can’t play without spectators.’ Well, I think you’d probably get enough buy-in from people who are dying to see a baseball game. Particularly me. I’m living in Washington. We have the World Champion Washington Nationals. You know, I want to see them play again.
“But there’s a way of doing that because there have been some proposals both at the level of the NFL, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, to get these people tested, and to put them in big hotels, you know, wherever you want to play. Keep them very well surveilled, namely a surveillance, but have them tested, like every week. Buy a gazillion tests. And make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family. And just let them play the season out. I mean, that’s a really artificial way to do it, but when you think about it, it might be better than nothing.”
While nothing is set in stone, the proposed Arizona plan may be the best opportunity for MLB to carry forward with a 2020 season.
However, players are split on the idea — including those on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Alex Wood has been receptive to the plan, while Clayton Kershaw revealed he is against it due to having to leave his family for a long period of time.
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