This morning the New York Yankees and the New York Mets are looking at yet another plan being put out there by MLB.Â The bottom line in all the plans that are being considered by MLB is that they don’t have control in the situation.Â The coronavirus is the main factor in determining which plan will finally be adopted.Â Once a season starts, MBL and the player’s union will have to hash out the details and agree on a plan.
The new plan suggests that a baseball season could start as early as before the July 4th holiday.Â The plan like all the other plans like the “Arizona” plan is complicated.Â This plan, unlike the “Arizona” plan, suggests that spring training would take place in the normal spring training sites and that the regular season could start there as well.Â But, as soon as health officials indicated it would be safe to do so, teams would move back to their home parks.
The new plan also has entirely different geographic lineups than the previous geographic realignment.Â This would have all the east coast teams playing in one division.Â There would be many “Subway Series” as the New York Yankees and the New York Mets would be in the same division.Â Other teams in the East Division would be the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Philidelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals, Tampa Bay Rays, and the Florida Marlins.
The Central Division would include the 10 teams in the center of the country including the Chicago teams and the Cleveland Indians.Â The West Division would include all the west coast teams along with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, both Texas teams.Â MLBs aim is to get in as many games as possible.Â The number they are presently looking at is at least 100, which would probably extend the season by a week or two.
Although MLB has no idea at this point when the season will start or which format they will use, the longer they wait, the clearer a solid plan becomes more realistic.Â As stated before the coronavirus and national and local health officials are really in control.Â The new plan is based on the latest virus progression, making it more feasible at some point to have safe air travel.Â When the Arizona plan was hatched it did not seem that team would be able to play games in their home stadiums.
The new plan is very similar to a plan I offered a few weeks ago, projecting that games would start out in Florida and Arizona and move to home parks when health officials thought it would be safe to do so for players and fans alike.Â My plan started pretty much on July 4th and would include a projected season of 85 games ending pretty much at the normal time.Â This new MLB plan suggests at least some regular-season games being played in October.
Here’s what we do know…
- Â Mini-spring training will take place in normal spring training parks.
- Â There will be some geographic realignment taking place.
- Â There will be no cross country travel.
- Â There will be no All-Star week.
- Â At the start of the season, there will be no fans in the stands.
- Â If fans are allowed in parks, there will be social distancing of some type, and masks will most likely be required.
- Stadium personnel will be limited as will fans at least at the start.
- Media will be kept at a distance and likely will not be allowed in the team’s clubhouses.
- It appears more promising now that there will in fact be a baseball season in some format.
- With a leveling and declining incidence of the virus, MLB will come closer to the decisions that will have to be made.
The baseball season for the New York Yankees, the New York Mets and the other 28 MLB teams, once in jeopardy now seems as though we will have baseball at least televised by early summer.Â Right now time is on the side of MLB in making those decisions, and looking forward they have even more time to decide on what a postseason would look like.Â Another surety is that fans all across the country are ready now more than ever before to see those boys of summer playing baseball again.
If this new plan is adopted and works out well, it could signal one of the biggest changes in baseball we have seen in our lives, the end of the National and American Leagues and the birth of the Eastern, Central and Western Leagues.Â Food for thought.