Major League Baseball in 2020?
Arizona plan or bust for Major League Baseball in 2020 season, MLB insider says.
Jeremy Cluff, Arizona Republic Published 9:43 a.m. MT April 14, 20200:550:55
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Several scenarios have been floated around as potential options to start the 2020 MLB season.
One of them called for every baseball team to come to Arizona to play at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field and neighboring spring training stadiums.
There was even talk of baseball teams playing in Japan.
ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan talked about which plan, if any, was most likely to get baseball started in 2020, in an interview on the network’s Get Up! Show with Mike Greenberg on Monday.
He ruled out the Japan plan and said that the Arizona plan was more likely than the Arizona/Florida plan during the interview.
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“When it’s all said and done, it seems like it’s going to be Arizona or bust for Major League Baseball,” Passan said. “It may have to get to the point where they say to themselves, OK, this is what we are going to try to do even if we can’t ultimately pull it off.
“But here’s the hope,” Passan continued. “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.
And 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. Of course, there is the possibility that this turns into that, but idealistically they want to spend as little time as they can in Arizona
Chase Field and other ballparks in Arizona could end up being very busy later this year. (Photo: Michael Chow/The Republic)
Passan said that players would have to buy into the idea for the plan to have any chance to be implemented.
“Right now we are in a bit of a holding pattern because ultimately if this is going to get done, it’s not just Major League Baseball’s choice, the players need to get on board, too.”
Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall recently addressed the plan of playing in Arizona in an interview on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
“This is going to be a place where hopefully, if we do things right, where we keep that curve flat, where it doesn’t become too much of a problem, where the summer is going to heat up a little bit,” Hall said on the Doug & Wolf Show.
“There are ways to utilize Chase Field. And, of course, we’re more than willing to do so, to accommodate and to host, where we can all play at spring training facilities and televise and put those games on radio and have the nationally televised games at Chase Field, for example.
“There’s so many options that include Arizona as a solution. I just want to continue to reiterate to local government, to leaders, to the commissioner: We’re willing to do this and there’s a way to make it work.”
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Agent Scott Boras shared his thoughts on the idea with the Associated Press.
“You’re going to be largely separated from your families and you’re going to have to function in a very contained way,” Boras told the AP. “It’s not a normal life, this idea. …
“You’re going to have an identified group of people. You’re going to have a constantly tested group of people. And you’re going to have very limited access of those people to the outside world so that you can assure a very uncontaminated league, if you will, to produce a product that is inspirational to our country.”
The Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro contributed to this story.