10:25: Players’ families will have the option to quarantine at the hotel with them in the seven days leading up to the postseason, Rosenthal tweets. They could then join the bubbles for the duration of the playoffs.
9:49: Sherman further reports that teams will continue to manage their alternate training sites during the pre-post-season quarantine, but transfers between the alternate site and the big league roster will not be allowed. As a result, all players on the IL and 40-man roster are likely to join that quarantine environment to allow clubs to keep making moves.
9:37: Sherman adds that the previously reported quarantine measures leading to the playoffs will remain in effect for players. All members of contending clubs, even those playing at home, will be quarantined in hotels for seven days before the first post-season round of play. They will be tested daily during that time. If a team is knocked out of post-season contention within that seven-day span, of course, those players can leave the hotels early.
9:30 in the morning: Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association agree on a 2020 postseason plan that includes a “bubble” format hosted at neutral sites for the Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). A formal announcement is expected today.
Details of the deal remain scarce, although the plan was ultimately to host ALDS and ALCS at National League stadiums in Southern California (Dodger Stadium and San Diego’s Petco Park). The NLDS and NLCS, in turn, would be housed at a couple of American League sites: Rangers ‘Globe Life Field and Astros’ Minute Maid Park. The World Series would also be held at Globe Life Field. The first round of play would be hosted in the home park of the highest seed of the match, Joel Sherman of the New York Post. tweets.
Those points seemed widely agreed, but there were other details to be worked out. In particular, the players opposed the quarantine measures that had to be put in place for their family members before they were allowed to join them in the bubble. There also appears to have been some discussion about admitting fans with limited capacity, as suggested last night by Commissioner Rob Manfred at an online event with Hofstra University business school (link via Evan Drellich of The Athletic). Whether this possibility is included in the agreement is not yet clear.
“I hope that in the World Series and LCS we will have a limited fan capacity”, Manfred said in that aspect. “… Obviously it will be limited numbers, socially spaced, fan protections in terms of temperature control and the like. A little pod like you’ve seen in some NFL games. We’ll probably use the same theory.”
Referring to anything as a “bubble” when family members and fans, even in limited quantities, can get into the equation seems like a reach, but it’s noteworthy that it’s even up for debate. The limited presence of fans would complicate health and safety protocols, but would also mitigate the financial blow that clubs are facing with no revenue in 2020. It could also serve as a litmus test ahead of the 2021 season, which Manfred acknowledged is not. discounted. to return to normal from day one:
“I think the trick in terms of what will happen next year depends on the virus”, Manfred said. “Does the virus control and is’ do you have a vaccine? Are we still seeing spikes?” This will guide what local governments allow us to do. “