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Major League Baseball is considering a plan supported by federal health officials who will confiscate all 30 teams in Arizona and play games starting in May using, among other places, Arizona Chase Field Diamondbacks’.
According to ESPN Jeff Passan, there are still a lot of details to be resolved, and the player’s union must exit. Together with Chase Field, the team reportedly has the potential to play in 10 Phoenix area spring training facilities and, potentially, other nearby fields
Floating ideas include the use of electronic strike zones, seven-inning card makers and players using microphones.
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Most important is a significant increase in coronavirus tests that are available with fast turnaround times, according to sources familiar with the plan, which will occur in early May and allow MLB testing to not reduce access to the general public. https://t.co/02leeDo2YC
No fans are allowed in the venue, and the team will sit six feet apart in the stands instead of using the break room.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the National Institute of Health, have collaborated MLB and support using “tight isolation” and social distance.
Here’s an idea of how the league can operate, per Passan:
“The plan, said the source, will be to dictate all 30 teams playing in a fanless stadium in the greater Phoenix area, including the Arizona Chase Field Diamondbacks’, 10 spring training facilities and possibly other nearby fields. Players, coaching staff and important matters Other personnel will be exiled at local hotels, where they will stay in relative isolation, and only travel to the stadium and back, sources said.
“… The return date for May depends on a number of concerns that are removed, and some officials believe the opening day of June can be more realistic, said the source. Most important is a significant increase in corona virus testing available with a quick turnaround time, which source is familiar the plan believes it will happen in early May and allows MLB testing not to reduce access to the general public. “
Following distancing social practices, mound visits between coaches and pitching catchers will be eliminated, and short matches can allow for a season of almost complete match 162.
Baseball’s advantages will include becoming the first professional sports league to continue operations since the coronavirus pandemic began shutting down sports on March 11, starting with the NBA. Creative solutions here are not entirely isolated thought processes.
The President of the UFC, Dana White, on Monday said that he was trying to secure a private island host a fight, while the NBA has been in talks to broadcast the game HORSE featuring players shooting at their homes. The NHL is reportedly considering plans to restart the league with exiled players North Dakota in the environment that is most similar to what MLB proposed.
With live sports limited at the moment, MLB can be in a position to negotiate a larger national television deal to help cover estimated costs, according to Passan.
Both players and the league remain in touch about the feasibility of such a plan. Although nothing will happen soon, May is less than a month away, and the details need to be ironed immediately to start the game within that time period.