Assuming the 2020 MLB season begins at all, it’s unlikely to start before June or July. That makes the idea of moving forward with the All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 14 – as currently scheduled – seem nonsensical.
MLB may agree.
According to Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score, baseball is considering a proposal that would involve cancelling the 2020 All-Star Game. The catch? Rather than allowing Dodger Stadium to host the event in the future, they would instead simply get to host the entire World Series.
While it’s true that baseball likely needs to find a warm-weather climate and/or city with a dome to play the World Series in, it’s hard to think of Dodger Stadium as neutral. The Dodgers – yes, the ones that the stadium is named after – are the odds-on favorites to win the National League pennant. Spiegel added that if the Dodgers reached the World Series, the road games in the series would take place in either Anaheim or San Diego. Of course, it’s fair to wonder if the Dodgers play, say, the Cleveland Indians in the World Series, would Anaheim and San Diego really feel like road games for the Dodgers? Would the three or four games at Dodger Stadium feel like they were being played at a neutral site?
With the World Series likely to take place in November – at the earliest – it would behoove baseball to find a location that’s truly neutral. Olympic Stadium in Montreal and Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan could be two truly neutral locations because they aren’t currently home to MLB teams.
Perhaps somewhere like Marlins Park in Miami could make sense since the Marlins clearly appear to be the fifth best team in a crowded National League East. The chances of them reaching the postseason – let alone the World Series – seem minuscule. However, the dynamics of the 2020 season will be entirely different than any in MLB history. Spiegel says that under this proposal, the regular season would be just 100 games, so all bets would be off. Who knows what will happen if you take 62 games off the regular season.
It is possible that baseball recognizes that they may have to play the entire 2020 season without fans because of COVID-19. Without fans, it’s possible that Dodger Stadium hosting a chunk of the World Series would be less of an advantage if the Dodgers reached it. Still, getting to sleep in your own bed is an advantage, and it’s possible that fans do end up getting to attend the World Series, which would create a conflict of interest.
If baseball ultimately cancels the All-Star Game, it would be the first time since 1945 – when World War II forced the cancellation of the event – that a midsummer classic wasn’t held. Even in 1994, when there wasn’t a World Series because of a mid-season labor dispute, Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh hosted the All-Star Game before the eventual strike.
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