Cubs center fielder Ian Happ, the team’s players union rep who was involved in protocol discussions for the upcoming postseason bubble, is bracing for COVID-19-related restrictions that might be stricter than players have experienced the past eight weeks.
“If you look at some of the protocols, there’s some wording in there [about] having to ask for permission to go on a walk," Happ said on what might be challenging about in-bubble protocols. "That feels more like a zoo animal than a baseball player or human.
“There’s a lot of those challenges that guys are going to face.”
MLB announced the 2020 postseason schedule on Tuesday. After the first-round wild-card series, which will be played at the higher seeds’ home ballparks, games will be played in a bubble setting.
The ALDS and ALCS will be played in California, while the NLDS, NLCS and World Series will be played in Texas.
The Marlins and Cardinals have missed time due to COVID-19 outbreaks this season, and others’ schedules have been affected due to COVID-19-related incidents. But there isn’t the same wiggle room to postpone and make up games in October for COVID-19 reasons as there is in the regular season.
The bubble setting is meant to limit the exposure players have with those outside of the league.
“We’re just excited to continue playing baseball and get to a position where we can be a part of those protocols,” Happ said.