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MLB's Plan to Play Full Season in a Bubble City in Arizona

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    It has been amazing to witness the sports world come to a complete halt as of mid-March of 2020, while everyone scrambles to adjust to new life in the wake of COVID-19. Quarantined, social distancing life.

    But now, Major League Baseball thinks they finally have a viable solution to allow their season to play out, more or less in full, in 2020. Something I didn't think was going to be possible. But after hearing the idea, I can see it, even though its kinda bizarre.

    They want all 30 teams and staff to relocate and live in relative isolation in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area for the entire duration of the season. That would be for a grand total of about 4 1/2 months:

    The plan, sources said, would dictate that all 30 teams play games at stadiums with no fans in the greater Phoenix area, including the Arizona Diamondbacks' Chase Field, 10 spring training facilities and perhaps other nearby fields. Players, coaching staffs and other essential personnel would be sequestered at local hotels, where they would live in relative isolation and travel only to and from the stadium, sources said. Federal officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the National Institutes of Health have been supportive of a plan that would adhere to strict isolation, promote social distancing and allow MLB to become the first professional sport to return.

    A bubble city, they are calling it.

    Crazy idea, but it could actually work. The biggest hurdle is getting all the players on board. They will have to convince everyone to be away from their families for 4-5 months straight. That's no easy task. Surely some will immediately be on board because of the money at stake. But others, harder to say. And what do you do if you can't get enough players to agree?

    The thought is if this idea fails, the season won't happen at all. So it seems to come down to this, or nothing at all for 2020. Think it'll happen?? If it does, we are talking MLB games as early as May. But more likely June.

    Will post more here as the story breaks.

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    This is great. I really hope they can pull it off. I wouldn't think getting the players on board will be such a big deal. I can't see they have too much of a choice, what with contracts and all that. I'm sure the current situation gives a little bit of wiggle room, but I'd think they still have to play to earn.

    Also, I'm sure they're wanting to play just as much as everyone wants to see them play. This gives them that opportunity. And I wouldn't think 4-5 months is too much of a stretch for alot of the athletes. The go on training camps and whatnot and I'm sure quite a few of them are away for an extended amount of time pretty often. Then again, this might be a really good time to let the 2nd string players make their mark if some of the starters decide not to participate. I think it'd be really good for moral to see the MLB go on.

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    All I can say is WOW. I'm not surprised either at the same time. I don't see this happening though. Getting players to be away from their families for 4-5 months seems like a long shot. I guess it all depends on how they are getting paid currently. I'm guessing contracts cover them even if they are in quarantine. If so, then I'm sure baseball clubs are sweating those costs especially without any income from tickets and advertising. If that's true, it may financially ruin some baseball clubs. So I can see why they are doing something so weird and desperate.
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    JFoster Wrote: All I can say is WOW. I'm not surprised either at the same time. I don't see this happening though. Getting players to be away from their families for 4-5 months seems like a long shot. I guess it all depends on how they are getting paid currently. I'm guessing contracts cover them even if they are in quarantine. If so, then I'm sure baseball clubs are sweating those costs especially without any income from tickets and advertising. If that's true, it may financially ruin some baseball clubs. So I can see why they are doing something so weird and desperate.

    I don't think its that simple. If players are getting money right now, its very, very little in comparison to what they would normally make, once the season starts. And after April 9th, like it says, it appears like they might not get anything at all.

    Exert from USA Today article -- With games called off because of the coronavirus outbreak, are athletes still getting paid?

    MLB

    Amid news that Opening Day will be delayed at least into May, MLB and the MLB Players Association are still negotiating some of the salary-related details for the weeks to come.

    The MLBPA informed players that, upon leaving their spring training facilities, they will receive a living allowance of $1,100 per week from the union through at least April 9 — with the belief that teams will then begin to pick up expenses. This arrangement applies only to players on a 40-man roster, and non-roster invitees who finished the 2019 season on a 40-man roster or injured list.

    But a lot of uncertainty remains. As San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham recently told USA TODAY Sports: "I don’t know if any of us will get paid."

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    Their updated plan seems a lot more feasible, but I still question if it will still work, especially if there is a major spike in cases in a city or cities that a major league team plays in. I can certainly see a big city mayor or governor bring the hammer down if a second or third wave of infections is spreading unchecked throughout a city.

    There's nothing I'd love more than to watch my beloved Cubs play the Sox 30 times this season, but I have a feeling the MLB is getting a little ahead of themselves.