The National Basketball Association (NBA) has been implementing a “bubble” layout to protect their players from potential exposition to COVID-19, at least in theory. And while some players have spoken up saying the arrangement can be mentally exhausting (some say they can’t escape basketball 24/7) it seems like MLB is considering adopting it for two key instances of the 2020 season.
According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, MLB is actually thinking about implementing that measure for the playoffs and the World Series. That would require further negotiations with the players’ association, almost surely.
MLB has had three unpleasant COVID-19-related developments with three different teams this season. First, the Miami Marlins violated some protocols and social distancing recommendations and that resulted in almost two thirds of the active roster testing positive for the virus at one point. The team missed more than a week of action but eventually returned.
Then, some St. Louis Cardinals players allegedly went to the casino in the second week of the season, and that resulted in 10 players testing positive and the red birds season is still on hold. They have only played five games while most teams already passed 15.
Ignoring MLB-recommended protocols
And this week, it was reported that Cleveland Indians pitchers Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger went out with friends, violating team rules and MLB health protocols and prompting the club to force a quarantine for both players.
The bubble is something that MLB could consider to limit the players’ decision to go out or violate the protocols. ESPN’s Jeff Passan confirmed Shaikin’s report.
According to Passan, MLB is probably leaning more toward a multi-city plan for the rounds leading up to the World Series, instead of trying to do it in one location throughout. Since there are no fans in attendance, it is something that makes sense.
Passan explained that the COVID-19 outbreaks on the Cardinals and Marlins “illustrated how a similar scenario could upend the playoffs.” Southern California, Chicago, and New York are reportedly options.