Now one month into what would have been the 2020 Major League Baseball season, commissioner Rob Manfred, team owners and the MLB Players Association remain in constant communication over how — and when — to begin the campaign.
Each of the leaked possibilities over the past few weeks have entailed players being quarantined in a centralized location. The first, dubbed the Arizona plan, called for all 30 clubs to descend upon The Grand Canyon State to play at Spring Training facilities and Chase Field.
MLB additionally was said to be considering division realignment by utilizing the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues. More recently, the league reportedly was evaluating possibly beginning the 2020 regular season in Arizona, Florida and Texas.
Now another scenario has come to light, as according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports, MLB is mulling shifting to three divisions of 10 teams and playing games at their usual ballparks:
MLB is considering a three-division, 10-team plan in which teams play only within their division – a concept gaining support among owners and executives. It would abolish the traditional American and National Leagues, and realign the divisions based on geography.
The divisions would keep many of the natural rivals together, while playing one another before an expanded playoff format.
Under that proposal, the National League West and American League West would be combined. That of course would entail the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros playing in the same newly created division.
That could create for an interesting subplot to a 2020 season that already was shaping to be unconventional. Several Dodgers players voiced their frustration and anger in light of MLB finding the Astros electronically stole signs en route to winning the 2017 World Series.
However MLB ultimately decides to move forward with the season, it is not expected to come without approval from public health officials. Commissioner Rob Manfred has continued to emphasize safety, and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said the need for readily available testing is required in order for the season to begin.
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