In a year full of adaptations and adjustments, Major League Baseball, (MLB) is no different. The league which includes some of the biggest stars in the world will be creating a bubble for their players during the 2020 playoffs.
“The elimination of travel is obviously a positive because it cuts exposure,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Less interaction outside with the group that you’re looking to protect is a huge positive. It’s all about what the risk of interacting with the community is.”
Baseball, known for its long 162- game season, was limited to 60 games due to COVID-19. Instead of introducing a bubble immediately, the league proceeded with games at everyone’s home stadiums, just with no fans in the ballpark. Within the first week of the season, teams had COVID-19 outbreaks within their squads, causing several postponements and schedule adjustments.
After completing a 60-game season, both the MLB and the Players Association agreed to have the playoffs in a bubble. The American League will play their series’ in Southern California at Dodgers and Padres Stadium while the National League will play at the Rangers and Astros ballparks. No team will play at their own field.
The World Series will be played at the Texas Rangers Globe Life Field in Arlington where MLB hopes to have fans in for the World Series. The stadium seats 40,000 people and MLB has discussed seating up 25% of the stadium.
According to the Associated Press, “The agreement attempts to balance players’ experiences and concerns while making the accommodations necessary to best ensure a safe, healthy and successful conclusion to the 2020 season,” said players union President Tony Clark, on September 15.
To ensure the safety of the players there will be limited access to them in these hotels. Family members will not be allowed access to the players until they complete a seven-day supervised quarantine. Players can have up to six guests stay at a separate family-only hotel. New York Yankees star pitcher, Gerrit Cole, said to the Associated Press on September 15, “It’s going to be tough — tough on the players, tough on the families, just kind of like it’s been tough for everybody this year.”
As players ramp up for an October away from their home cities, in empty ballparks, the MLB playoffs will be different, but fans at home will still see their favorite players take the field in a battle of the best. — Joey Balleweg
Photo: MLB will play the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)