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MLB’s new plan could see teams play in home stadiums without fans

by Sox On 35th Contributors

Due to COVID-19, baseball and sports as we know it have been derailed. There was no Opening Day, and spring training was cut short. However, we may be closer than we think to seeing teams return to the field

This afternoon, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that Major League Baseball has yet another plan for the 2020 season, this one coming with a little more optimism. As of right now, the thought is to have all teams return to their home cities and ballparks, but play without fans in modified divisions. The season would likely kickoff between late June and early July, with the goal being to play at least 100 games. There would be three totals divisions, each with 10 teams.

The divisions are as follows:

EAST: New York Yankees, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins

CENTRAL: Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals

WEST: Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners

This plan would allow for players to avoid the isolation scenario that came with playing just in Arizona and Florida, while still reducing the travel that a normal season would carry. There is a chance a portion of the season could be played strictly in those states, depending on the situation come the start of the season. It is expected that regardless, players will be given between two to three weeks to train at their spring training sites before any games are played. As for the postseason, it would be expanded to include more teams but the specifics are not yet known.

What this means for the White Sox

Remember the last idea? Where the Sox would have to deal with the Dodgers, Angels, Reds, and Indians? This one seems a little more enjoyable. Not only are the teams more even, the Sox would still play their divisional rivals AND the Cubs. What fun that would be for the city of Chicago. Just think: COVID-19 is beginning to fade away, you’re at a bar with your buddies, watching the Sox play the Cubs. It puts a smile on my face just thinking about it.

This plan is still pending the approvals of medical experts and still has to undergo plenty of more talks between everyone in Major League Baseball. At least for now, it gives us a sense of hope that we could have some sense of normalcy back in time for the summer. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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Featured Photo: Chris Tejeda/@FotoGenocide_ (Twitter)

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Michael A Colletti

Why not Pittsburgh in the Central and Atlanta in the East, which geographically makes more sense? If the desire is to keep travel to a minimum, that is most logical.

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