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MLB playoff bubble: MLBPA, league agrees to place in neutral spot in 2020 after the season

Major League Baseball’s 2020 season bubble plan has been approved by the MLB Players Association, MLB announced Tuesday. The division series, league championship series and world series are all held in neutral places where players are set up in nearby bubbles with a location.

A bubble approach to MLB will help minimize the risk of another coronavirus outbreak. Shortly after the 2020 season began, there was a major coronavirus outbreak among the Miami Marlins. St. The Louis Cardinals also suffered a team-wide outburst, and both put the MLB season in jeopardy. In all, the league has been forced to postpone 43 matches in total on the schedule due to positive COVID-1

9 cases.

Here are the specific bubble placements for the extended playoffs:

  • NLDS: Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston
  • ALDS: Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles
  • NLCS: Globe Life Field
  • ALCS: Petco Park
  • World Series: Globe Life Field

A COVID-19 outbreak in the mail season would wreak havoc on the tournament schedule and competitive integrity. Baseball’s post season also coincides with flu season, so there’s an incentive to determine a safe option to isolate players.

Here are three things to know about the league’s plan for the 2020 playoffs:

1. This will be a change from the regular season

When Major League Baseball returned to play in July, it was the only major U.S. professional team sports league required to travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. Other sports leagues like the WNBA, NBA and MLS determined that a single-place bubble setup was the right choice for their return-to-play plans.

Our RJ Anderson previously broke down, which is why baseball did not use the bubble plan for the normal season of 2020.

When baseball first came back, there were no formal restrictions for players or other team personnel, such as managers and coaches. Following the outbreak within the Marlins and Cardinals organizations, the league doubled in wearing masks in the excavations during games and adhering to the social distance guidelines.

The league also added the requirement that each team must travel with a compliance officer who ensures that team personnel and players adhere to the league’s health and safety protocols.

Although the league’s post – season setup will not completely eliminate travel – this would actually be the first teams to leave their geographically based divisions – a bubble setup for each series in the post season will help minimize the chances of an outbreak. Players are likely to still have to follow similar, strict guidelines from the regular season.

2. Quarantines for players, families who must start the week before the playoffs

During the negotiations on the format for this year’s post season, one of the disagreements between the players and the league was the restrictions for player families wanting to get into the bubble. As of Tuesday, families are allowed to be with players leading up to and during the mail season, Rosenthal reports.

The players’ families are quarantined with players on competing teams for seven days leading into the post season. Then they will be able to stay together throughout the team’s playoff run. For those families who decide to go this route, they will be considered part of MLB’s bubble. All members inside the bubble will reportedly be tested daily.

According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, all players on competing teams will move into hotels early next week (the last week of the regular season) to “create a quarantine-like situation before the playoffs.” Here’s more from Sherman:

Some players struggled against the concept, believing the sport has done well in the last month in minimizing COVID-19 cases and were concerned that teams that went into quarantine in late September and reached the World Series , could be away from families for a month or more.

But MLB has strongly expressed fears of getting this far and not finishing the playoffs and pushed hard for the safest possible protocols to end the year.

So the plan that was hammered out requires that all competing clubs – including those at home – move to a hotel in the last week of the regular season. All players on the 40-man list and IL are asked to participate in quarantine, because when the club begins, clubs can no longer summon a player from the alternative place to participate in the 28-man list – only those who are in quarantine.

As teams are eliminated from playoff battles, players at these clubs can leave the hotels if they wish.

Families of managers and coaches were not included in the MLB / MLBPA agreement because there was simply not enough capacity in hotels. But as the fall season narrows, there will be room, Rosenthal adds. All members inside the bubble are tested daily.

Locations are set; attendance is up in the air

The World Series will be held in Rangers’ new ballpark, and the bubbles are such that no team plays at home after the first round. In the best of three Wild Card rounds at the start of the layoffs, the higher seed will host every game in his home ball ground. These series are set to start in the days after the regular season ends on September 27 and will quickly trim the playoffs to eight teams moving to the neutral spots.

Fans have not been able to attend MLB games this season due to the pandemic, though that could change in October. Speaking earlier this week, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he hopes fans will be able to attend LCS and World Series games in some capacity.

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