It has been 211 days since the Phillies last played a regular season game. There are still some logistical roadblocks in the way, but appears they will only have to wait a month or two longer before they can play again.
According to ESPN‘s Jeff Passan, there is optimism around the league that baseball will be played at some capacity in 2020:
“Over the past two weeks, as states have begun to plan their reopenings, nearly everyone along the decision-making continuum — league officials, players, union leaders, owners, doctors, politicians, TV power brokers, team executives — has grown increasingly optimistic that there will be baseball this year.”
In several laid out scenarios, Passan mentions plans that could happen dependent on when certain states begin to re-open. The Arizona plan, which Passan first reported early last month, is a possibility. But this could grow if multiple cities and states re-open, and MLB could expand to three or four different cities, such as Dallas, Phoenix and Tampa, to play out the season.
Passan also mentions the possibility of a massive playoff, featuring six different locations that involve play between each division before teams that advance are settled on. This plan would only take 60 days, which would give the league flexibility to wait longer to start the season without having to play into the winter.
Obviously, none of these are close to set in stone, but Passan’s point is clear: MLB will do what it can to start the season because there is plenty of incentive for everyone involved to make it happen.
If MLB finds a plan that works and can be agreed upon logistically by everyone involved, there will still be some hoops to jump through. Passan noted that games will almost definitely be without fans in 2020, and that this – combined with owners’ concerns that they will lose money if a season is played – brings about some questions about whether the league will find a way to play in 2020.
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