Last week, CBS Sports examined why Major League Baseball was the only of the major American professional sports leagues to forgo a "bubble" setup in its initial return to play this year. Most of the insiders who spoke to CBS Sports said that MLB would have been better off following the hub systems employed by the NWSL, NBA and WNBA among others.
MLB doesn't have a time machine to undo that decision, but it appears the league might be reconsidering options in advance of October. According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, MLB is in the process of creating "contingency plans" for the postseason. That includes plans that could entail "moving some or all of the postseason to neutral sites with warm weather and relatively low spread of the virus."
The bubble approach would make sense for the postseason for a number of reasons, beginning with minimizing the risk of an outbreak situation that would wreak havoc over the tournament's schedule and competitive integrity. Multiple teams, including currently the St. Louis Cardinals, have been parked during the nascent regular season due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
Because the postseason coincides with the onset of flu season, MLB has added incentive to figure out a way to isolate its players. Otherwise, they run the double risk of players becoming infected and play becoming interrupted.
It's unclear where MLB would host its bubble(s). Ostensibly, the league would choose a warm-weather state that has multiple big-league facilities and ample hotel capacity, such as California, Texas, or Florida. Arizona had also been considered for a regular-season bubble due to its ample spring-training and minor-league facilities.
Remember, the league and the union agreed to an expanded postseason before the start of the regular season. Sixteen teams will make the playoffs this year, including the first- and second-place finishers in each division.