As the country continues to get the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic under control, Major League Baseball has reached a critical stage in discussions on the logistics for a 2020 regular season.
There still are a ton of safety, testing, financial and travel issues to sort out, among other things, but MLB recently sent its first proposal to the Players Association to begin the dialogue between the two sides in hopes of starting the season as soon as July.
The most recent reports indicate that teams would play games at their home ballparks as opposed to one or two specific locations for the whole league. Some states have stay-at-home orders in place that could go later than July, making it difficult for some teams to play at their home stadiums.
Since fans won’t be in attendance for at least most of a 2020 season, teams that need to switch locations can do so easily by playing at their Spring Training facilities in Arizona or Florida, who have both already eased their stay-at-home orders and are open to hosting sports events.
The heat in the middle of the summer will be an issue at both places, but according to Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic, the league would schedule night games to account for that:
To address heat concerns, spring-training games in Florida and Arizona would begin between 7 and 9 pm local time.
California is one of the states with strict stay-at-home orders in place, meaning playing at Dodger Stadium may be difficult for the Los Angeles Dodgers. If they are forced to move to their Camelback Ranch Spring Training facility, then this would apply to them.
As it currently stands, it seems that all parties involved are committed to getting some sort of season in. The hope is that the World Series will be wrapped up by November to avoid running into a potential second wave of coronavirus, so things will have to get underway soon here in order for teams to play an adequate amount of games leading up to the postseason.
Safety of the players, coaches and staff members has to be the No. 1 priority though, which could complicate discussions in the coming weeks.
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