In the week since the news broke that MLB is considering a plan in accordance with recommendations of health experts to play out the 2020 season in Arizona with a plethora of contingencies that allow the game to be played without violating social distancing guidelines, a majority of the feedback from players and fans has mostly been negative.
Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman is among the MLB stars who have voiced their concerns with the plan, laying out potential issues such as separation from family and decreased preparation time before games. But ESPN’s MLB Insider Jeff Passan reported Monday that if the league does move forward with the Arizona plan, that doesn’t mean it wants to spend the whole season in the desert.
“The hope is that this starts off as a biosphere and eventually we get to the point in this country through testing and through antibody testing and through understanding a little better what the coronavirus exactly is, that they can move beyond this biosphere and go back to their cities,” Passan told Mike Greenberg on Get Up.
As Passan reports, MLB will need the cooperation of its players in order to kick off some kind of truncated season. One of the biggest roadblocks to the reported Arizona plan would be convincing players to isolate themselves from the rest of the world for the entirety of the season. If families could be included in isolation—with the promise of aiming to allow teams to eventually return to their home cities—the league may have a better chance of getting the union on board.
“Even though they will probably be playing in empty stadiums for the rest of the year, the idea is that this would be a two- or maybe three-month thing as opposed to a four- or five- or six-month thing that encapsulates the entire season,” Passan said. “Now, of course, there is the possibility that it turns into that. But idealistically, they want to spend as little time as they can in Arizona.”
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