MLB might finally be following the examples set forth by the NBA and NHL. The most recent reported plan for playoffs would be to adopt a regional type of bubble format to protect teams from the spread of the virus.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported today that MLB is looking at controlled sites in Southern California and in Texas. Under that plan, the American League playoffs would be host by California while Texas could host the National League.
Not close to final, but postseason plan at “controlled sites” being discussed, per sources: AL in southern California, NL in Texas. World Series possibly at Rangers’ new ballpark. League talking with union about possibilities. Final plan would be subject to ownership approval.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 26, 2020
The most interesting part about this format is that Texas could possibly play host to the World Series in 2020. MLB is still discussing the plan with the player’s union, and it would also need to be ratified by the owners before moving forward. But that fact that the league is getting a little smarter about protecting teams is certainly a good thing. The first rounds of playoffs is set to kick off in just a little over a month from now.
There are two locations in Texas, with Globelife Field being one of the top choices for MLB to host the World Series. The Rangers just finished up their brand new stadium and this is the first year they get to play in it.
The NBA settled on a one bubble location in Orlando that has proven to be fairly successful. The difference would be that it’s a pretty strict lockdown for basketball, in that no one is allowed in or out of the campus without approval. It’s unclear how MLB would proceed with the regional locations.