Yanks, Mets, Phils Could Play Soon – In Arizona
I know that it's far down the list of priorities, but the prospect of baseball returning gets me excited. Sports provides us with an escape from our day-to-day stresses, and the stress is exponentially greater right now, so I'm craving something, anything to take my mind off the real world for a brief respite.
ESPN revealed that Major League Baseball is working on a plan that could start the season, but with a handful of crazy twists, including:
- All games would be played in Arizona, in the "greater Phoenix area"
- Seven-inning double-headers to make up missed games
- Players sitting in the stands (6 feet apart) rather than in the dugout
- No mound visits between pitchers and catchers/managers
- An electronic strike zone to keep umpires away from players
So, while I think those are great ideas...I have about zero faith that this will actually happen. There are just too many hurdles to overcome to play baseball in this way.
Part of the plan included using the Diamondback's home stadium, Chase Field, which could host daily triple-headers. Other spring training facilities around Phoenix would host the rest of the games.
Even if you can keep players out of the dugout, they still have to be near eachother in the locker room. Trainers will still need to work on injured players. Runners will need to stand close to fielders. If you have a triple-header at Chase Field, I'm assuming that means multiple teams would in and out of the locker room - how are you going to sanitize properly in between games?
It would be fun and surreal to see Major League players in Spring Training parks, with nearly empty stands...but how many players are really going to want to move to Arizona from now through October while their families are stuck home in quarantine? What if one player catches COVID, does the entire team have to quarantine for two weeks? Just one instance like that would obliterate the whole plan, and it doesn't seem like it's worth it in the end.
I'm a huge baseball fan and I cannot wait for it to return, but I just don't see this being a real solution. Let teams train on their own, let the curve flatten, and just run a half-season.
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