Major League Baseball continues to discuss any possible way to play a 2020 season, and as more time progresses, the more likely it seems that the so-called "Arizona plan" is going to be the route that is taken. That would be all 30 teams in the Phoenix area, quarantined in hotels and playing their games in the 10 spring training ballparks and presumably Chase Field (home of the Diamondbacks).
There are some back fields where minor-league spring training games are played that could be used as well. This plan comes with no fans, so playing on those fields wouldn't matter. This plan would also include weekly testing for COVID-19 and quarantining positive testing cases.
The latest on the matter comes via Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
As noted by Rosenthal, this plan would need to be approved by owners and then by the players. Yes, I know they make a lot of money to play a game, but the players would be sacrificing a lot here.
- They have already agreed to take pro-rated salaries based upon a shortened season, but the owners would be asking them to take even less than that due to no gate, parking, concession revenue.
- They would have to be away from their families for however long this goes. Four months without their families so they can entertain us? Mike Trout mentioned this would .
- It sounds like the players would be social distancing by sitting at least six feet apart in the stands. That's not really so much a concession as it's ... weird?
There will need to be a balance between money the players have to lose and how long they are willing to be away from all family and non-teammate friends. And even those friends, they can't really hang out. They'd just play and go back to their hotels before playing the next day.
Playing baseball is fun and so is making a lot of money, I'm sure. All of the above in the summer/early fall Arizona heat? That makes it all a lot tougher.
Whatever gets figured out, this is already a season without precedent. We'll continue to monitor.