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#pounditThursday, May 13, 2021

Some MLB players reportedly ‘balking’ at idea of resuming season in isolation

Rob Manfred

Major League Baseball is exploring the possibility of resuming play as early as May, but that will likely only be feasible if teams are essentially quarantined in Arizona and allowed limited — if any — contact with the outside world. As you might expect, that concept is one that at least some players are not thrilled with.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on Monday that MLB is discussing a plan where all teams would play games in the Phoenix area, with players and staff living in relative isolation. That would mean players have to be away from their families for several months straight, and Passan acknowledged on Tuesday that the plan could fall apart quickly if players are not open to it.

Passan’s colleague Buster Olney also reports that some players are “initially balking at the idea.”

In response to the reports, MLB issued a statement on Tuesday confirming that many contingency plans have been discussed, including the idea of playing games in a centralized location. The league insists nothing has been set in stone.

There is some thought that players would go along with the centralized playing schedule because they want to earn their pay checks and provide fans with some much-needed entertainment, but obviously there are a lot of details that need to be sorted out. The NBA is exploring similar ideas in an attempt to resume its season, though those ideas don’t appear to have gained any serious momentum.

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