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#pounditTuesday, September 29, 2020

Reports: MLB considering bubble for postseason

Rob Manfred

The “bubble” setups of the NHL and NBA have worked successfully so far, and MLB would like to follow their lead if possible in order to give the postseason a best chance of taking place uninterrupted, according to reports.

Both the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin and ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Monday that MLB is considering a bubble for the postseason. Such a bubble scenario would limit travel and possibly restrict player movement, which would give a higher chance of a successful postseason.

Though MLB originally considered the possibility of a bubble, the logistics were difficult to pull off due to the amount of people who would need to be involved, which is much more compared to the amount of players on an NHL or NBA roster. Additionally, many top players like Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw voiced opposition to being in a bubble away from their family for an extended period of time and seemingly rejected the idea.

But MLB has seen what has happened when COVID-19 outbreaks hit the Miami Marlins, who did not play for eight days, and the St. Louis Cardinals, who have not played since July, and recognizes an outbreak in the postseason would be highly problematic.

Passan says a bubble could take place in Southern California where there are two MLB stadiums nearby (Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Angel Stadium 30 miles away in Anaheim). NL teams could stay in one LA hotel and play at Dodger Stadium, while AL teams do the same in Orange County and play at Angel Stadium. Petco Park could even be used if needed for the first round of the playoffs since there would be eight series taking place and host two of the series. The other advantage of Southern California is that the weather likely would be nice enough for baseball to be played, and it could limit the spread of the virus.

Other regions could also be considered for this kind of setup, such as New York and Chicago, which both have two MLB teams.

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