This past weekend, Ken Rosenthal reported that Major League Baseball was heavily considering a plan that would kick the season off at Spring Training stadiums and have players living under quarantine during that time.
Tonight, Jeff Passan is reporting that the location would be in Arizona and has been discussed with the players. The plan will be with all 30 MLB teams with no fans in stadium in the Phoenix area. Players, coaching staffs and other essential personnel would be in local hotels, where they would live in relative isolation, and travel to the stadium and back. MLB is relying on a "significant increase in available coronavirus tests," per Passan. This would allow the MLB to access a large supply of tests while not diminishing the supply for the general public. Along with those strict rules put in place, here are also some rules that were discussed:
• Implementing an electronic strike zone to allow the plate umpire to maintain sufficient distance from the catcher and batter
• No mound visits from the catcher or pitching coach
• Seven-inning doubleheaders, which, with an earlier-than-expected start date, could allow baseball to come closer to a full 162-game season
• Regular use of on-field microphones by players, as an added bonus for TV viewers
• Sitting in the empty stands 6 feet apart -- the recommended social-distancing space -- instead of in a dugout
This report also indicates that this was just one of the ideas discussed today and many others could be on the table as we see all this unfold.
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