Dr. Anthony Fauci Warns MLB Should Consider Against Playing 2020 World Series In October
Dr. Anthony Fauci
Alex Brandon/AP Photo

A secondary layer to Major League Baseball and the Players Association being at odds over an economic plan for the 2020 regular season is the number of games that should be played. And with that, when the season would end.

One proposal from the MLBPA called for a 114-game season that would wrap up in November. Another was for 89 games, with play stretching into October. In both instances MLB reminded the union of a preference to conclude the regular season by Sept. 27.

From MLB’s perspective, it would allow for the 2020 postseason and World Series to be played in October rather than stretching the sport’s calendar into November. That stems from concern a second wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) could emerge in the fall.

In an interview with Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, Dr. Anthony Fauci explained why he would suggest MLB not even play the World Series as late as October:

“If the question is time, I would try to keep it in the core summer months and end it not with the way we play the World Series, until the end of October when it’s cold,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a telephone interview with The Times on Tuesday. “I would avoid that.”

“Even in warm weather, like in Arizona and California, we’re starting to see resurgences as we open up,” Fauci said. “But I think the chances of there being less of an issue in the end of July and all of August and September are much, much better than if you go into October.”

“The likelihood is that, if you stick to the core summer months, you are better off, even though there is no guarantee. … If you look at the kinds of things that could happen, there’s no guarantee of anything. You would want to do it at a time when there isn’t the overlap between influenza and the possibility of a fall second wave.”

Although medical experts have warned of a second wave, it’s difficult to truly project if or when that may arrive. Particularly with cases beginning to spike in certain states as the country’s economy has been re-opened.

Like with the NBA’s plan to establish a bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, Dr. Fauci previously lent his approval to MLB’s brainstorming of having all 30 teams play in Arizona.

Pushback from several players, including longtime Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, prompted MLB to evaluate a three-state scenario before settling on having teams play in their own ballparks.

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