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Neutral Site Games Newsbeat

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Coronavirus: MLB debating playing games at spring training ballparks without fans, per report

Major League Baseball, like many sports leagues around the world, has been shut down indefinitely because of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Spring training was canceled altogether and 2020 Opening Day has been pushed back to at least mid-May, and that remains subject to change as the situation develops.

MLB, along with the MLBPA, has discussed a variety of scenarios for the 2020 regular and postseason, including doubleheaders and extending the season into October. Now, MLB is considering playing in empty spring training ballparks in Florida and Arizona, with no fans and all while quarantining players. From Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

“MLB is prioritizing public health as it examines all possibilities, sources say. The season, at least initially, could be played in Florida or more likely Arizona, where spring training parks are more concentrated. But the logistics of quarantining 30 teams in one area would be extremely complex and potentially controversial, sources say, requiring local, state and federal government cooperation and resources that might be necessary to fight the coronavirus pandemic.”

As Rosenthal notes, the Premier League is reportedly is discussing quarantining its teams in parts of England and finishing its season with televised games from empty stadiums. The NBA is also discussing a similar concept with a truncated playoff tournament in Las Vegas.


QLE Posted: April 05, 2020 at 12:33 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, behind closed doors, neutral site games, spring training

Thursday, April 02, 2020

MLB reportedly discussing a 100-game season that would include a neutral-site World Series at Dodger

The COVID-19 pandemic has the sports world on hold. We have no idea when and *if* there will be professional sports in 2020. The MLB season was supposed to begin last Thursday, and there’s no way they will be able to play close to 162 games with the way things are going.

At this rate, a best-case scenario would seem to involve the MLB season starting in late June or early July, and having roughly 100 games (keep in mind a ramp-up period/second spring training that will be needed too; it’s not like things clear up with COVID-19 and the regular-season MLB games can immediately start).

Well, 670 The Score’s Matt Spiegel reports that, according to “a well informed source that does business with multiple MLB execs,” MLB is discussing the idea of a 100-game season that would feature a neutral-site World Series at Dodger Stadium. The 2020 All-Star Game was to be held at Dodger Stadium, but it’s extremely unlikely that there’s time for an exhibition game in the middle of a shortened season that will already have enough scheduling concerns. So, while they will (almost surely) not host an All-Star Game, Los Angeles would at least host the World Series “as compensation.”

Spiegel adds that the 100-game season would begin July 1, and conclude October 15. The regular season finishing more than two weeks later than originally planned (currently scheduled to end Sept. 27) is why a warm-weather location would be good for the World Series; the Fall Classic would go well into November.

Compensation for the viewers: I’ll take the World Series being at Dodger Stadium if Jon Miller gets to call the World Series. Deal?


QLE Posted: April 02, 2020 at 01:29 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: dodger stadium, neutral site games, shortened season

London Series featuring Cubs, Cards canceled

ST. LOUIS—The cancellations and postponements of Major League Baseball’s season has now reached the Cardinals’ series against the Cubs in London this summer.

The Mitel & MLB Present London Series has been canceled due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, MLB announced Wednesday morning. The Cardinals and Cubs were scheduled to play at London Stadium on June 13-14. The London Series website states that the series will not take place at any time this season.

The series had been in jeopardy since concerns about international travel and the spread of COVID-19 in Europe began to take shape. In early March, the Cardinals had hoped MLB would wait on a decision until closer to the scheduled date of the series. But when the coronavirus began its rapid spread through the United States, MLB canceled Spring Training and delayed the start of the regular season, and the Cardinals’ focus shifted toward larger issues. It is still unknown when the season will begin.


QLE Posted: April 02, 2020 at 01:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cancellations, london, neutral site games

Sunday, March 29, 2020

MLB final pitch could be closer to Christmas than Halloween

And now, a counter-point to Mr. Kershaw:

NEW YORK (AP) — If the final pitch of the 2020 baseball season comes closer to Christmas than Halloween, that’s fine with the players.

Major League Baseball owners ratified a 17-page agreement with the union on Friday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with players willing to extend the season as long as needed to cover as close to a full schedule as possible.

Even if it involves neutral sites in warm-weather cities and domes. Even if it involves playing in empty ballparks. Even if it involves lots of day-night doubleheaders.

And if it means expanding the playoffs from 10 teams, fine.

Weirdo that I am, neutral-site games excite me- however, some of my ideas as for where to hold them might not be where MLB is planning to go…..

QLE Posted: March 29, 2020 at 12:35 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: christmas, doubleheaders, neutral site games, players

Friday, March 20, 2020

MLB calls off games in Mexico, Puerto Rico

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball called off what was to have been its first two regular-season games in Mexico City, along with a three-game series in Puerto Rico because of the new coronavirus.

Arizona and San Diego were to have played on April 18 and 19 at Mexico City’s Alfredo Harp Helú Stadium, a 20,000-capacity ballpark that opened in March 2019.

The New York Mets and Miami had been scheduled to play a three-game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan from April 28-30.

MLB has delayed opening day until mid-May at the earliest because of the virus outbreak.

If it pleases MLB any, I had to cancel a trip in April I had been looking forward to for months as well.



QLE Posted: March 20, 2020 at 12:52 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cancellations, neutral site games

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Report: MLB Considering Alternative Sites Due to Coronavirus

MLB is considering using alternative sites for teams that are most affected by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), according to The Wall Street Journal’s Jared Diamond. 

The league wants to vet all potential options—and they are, given the uncertain and deadly nature of the virus—but want to avoid playing in empty stadiums if possible. This tracks with the thinking of other professional sports leagues, including the NBA, which is exploring similar alternatives in the wake of the virus that has infected more than 1,000 people in the U.S. and killed at least 30.

The alternatives for MLB include playing their games at spring training facilities in Arizona or Florida and possibly moving games to cities less affected by the outbreak.


QLE Posted: March 12, 2020 at 01:00 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, mariners, neutral site games

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Coronavirus Risk Raises Questions About MLB London Series

The status of a potential coronavirus outbreak is raising questions about a pair of Major League Baseball games slated for London in June, as teams brace for possible scheduling and travel changes.

Following last year’s pair of regular-season matchups between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox at London Stadium (pictured above), MLB is slated to return this season with a two-game series between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. That series, scheduled for June 13-14, is still on for now, but the risks surrounding coronavirus are raising questions about whether MLB and the two teams will not move forward with the London appearance.

For the time being, MLB has not made any scheduling changes or imposed travel restrictions because of coronavirus, and continues to consult with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations. It also has not delved into hypotheticals, including the possibility of cancelling the London series, but all indications are that teams are preparing for the possibility of changes to scheduling and travel.


QLE Posted: March 05, 2020 at 12:51 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, london, neutral site games




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