At least 17 members of the Miami Marlins, including 11 players, tested positive for coronavirus. And outside of a bubble, the ripple effects can be immediate and far-reaching.
Miami played against Philadelphia this weekend and played Sunday despite testing positive from the Marlins. Miami’s two games against Baltimore have been postponed and the Marlins may not play for at least several days. The same goes for both Philadelphia games against the New York Yankees. With 60 games scheduled in 66 days in this shortened pandemic season and a new expanded 16-game playoff series, good luck finding the time to catch up on those games.
Things are a tangled mess right now in AL and NL East.
The Marlins played exhibition games against Atlanta last week, and ahead of Friday’s opening game in Queens against the Mets, the Braves announced that their top two receivers did not make the trip as they presented symptoms of COVID-19.
Traveling from city to city while this virus is raging in the United States has turned out to be a bad idea. The flaws of trying sport outside a bubble are happening in real time this week. As we’ve seen with the NBA, MLS, WNBA, and NHL, bubbles work.
Similar to my bubble plan with the NFL As of last week, MLB can still take a few days off to reset, get tested, and travel to three different bubbles, one for each geographic division as per the 2020 baseball schedule.
Teams will have to limit their movements as much as possible, which is partly mitigated by the fact that there will be only 10 teams per bubble rather than 22 teams in the NBA bubble, 24 teams in the MLS bubble and 12 by NHL bubble in Toronto and Edmonton.
For the AL and NL East, the teams will come to New York to play at Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, MCU Park in Coney Island where the Brooklyn Cyclones play and Richmond County Bank Ballpark in Staten Island or Jack Kaiser Stadium on the campus of Université Saint-Jean. That’s five games a day at four different stadiums, with Yankee Stadium and Citi Field alternating two games a day. New York City currently has an average of just four daily cases per 100,000 residents, according to the New York Times
For the AL and NL Central, teams will come to Chicago to play games at Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, Schaumberg Boomers Stadium about 20 miles west of O’Hare Airport and the Northwestern University.
For the AL and NL West, teams will come to the Bay Area to play at Oracle Park, Oakland Coliseum, Excite Ballpark in San Jose where the A Giants singles play and either Evans Diamond at Cal Berkeley or Stanford’s Klein Field at Sunken Stadium. . San Francisco County currently has 12 daily cases per 100,000 population, Alameda County has 11 per 100,000, and Santa Clara County has 11.
It is time for Major League Baseball to move forward with a proactive plan rather than a reactive one. Making the switch and moving to a three bubble system during the week to keep the 2020 season alive would be a step in the right direction.