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Sunday, August 09, 2020

Why MLB didn’t use bubble plan for 2020 regular season; and what league insiders think of the decision

The accepted explanation around the league is that the bubble concept was left on the drawing room floor because the players were not on board with the idea. One source, who indicated that the owners are responsible for much of what ails the league, said this aspect of the season falls on the players. Another nodded to the length of the season as a reason why players objected.

A few players were vocal about their reservations, including Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels outfielder who doubles as the sport’s best player and de facto face.

“[Being] quarantined in a city, I was reading for—if we play— a couple of months, it would be difficult for some guys. What are you going to do with family members?” said Trout, whose wife Jessica recently gave birth to the couple’s first child. “[The] mentality is that we want to get back as soon as we can. But it has to be realistic. It can’t be sitting in our hotel rooms, and just going from the field to the hotel room and not being able to do anything. I think that’s pretty crazy.”

The players’ reluctance to leave their families behind for months at a time was understandable. So was their optimism that the country’s pandemic response would allow for improved traveling conditions later in the year, paving the way for a season that was shorter but more conventional.

“I think it would be a weird product on the field, guys wouldn’t be as motivated, we’d be playing in 100 degrees in the summer of Arizona,” Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling said. “Why don’t we wait a month, get it to more of a safer place, and play a little bit less games.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 09, 2020 at 11:01 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: coronavirus

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   1. JRVJ Posted: August 09, 2020 at 01:23 PM (#5968610)
Between MLB's season teetering on the edge and the comparable success of the other American sports league, it's fair to wonder: did MLB err by eschewing a bubble?


Is the MLB season really teetering on the edge? The Marlins are back, so the East supra-Conference is back playing.

The Western supra-Conference has not had an outbreak (cross fingers), so they're in good shape.

The real problem right now is the Central supra-Conference, what with the Cardinals having what seems to be two connected mini-breaks. But at least the Brewers hadn't actually played the Cards, so none of their players were forced into quarantine (so they avoid the risk of injuries that the Phillies have been dealing with due to their enforced shut-down).

I would say that if there's an outbreak in the Western supra-Conference, MLB should be able to weather it. It may be able to do so if there's an other Eastern supra-Conference outbreak and there will be REAL trouble if there's another outbreak in the Central supra-conference, because of all the schedule complications.

***

As mentioned a few days ago, I think the real problem for MLB is that because of the way the whole start-of-the-season went, the schedule simply has no cushion. Baseball already has cancellations due to rain (or hurricanes), so if that's compounded by COVID outbreaks, things can get dire.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 09, 2020 at 01:29 PM (#5968611)
“Why don’t we wait a month, get it to more of a safer place, and play a little bit less games.”
...which is exactly what the players were proposing in the negotiations, right?
   3. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: August 09, 2020 at 04:03 PM (#5968642)
I don’t think it’s fair to be particularly critical of the players for not wanting to be in a bubble. The NHL/NBA plans work because it’s a relatively short time for most teams. Asking the entire league to be in the bubble for 2 1/2-3 months THEN play the playoffs is a big ask and I don’t blame the players for being uncomfortable with that.
   4. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 09, 2020 at 04:44 PM (#5968646)
Is the MLB season really teetering on the edge?

For the people who want it to be, yes.

play a little bit less games

You mean "fewer games", right?
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: August 09, 2020 at 04:44 PM (#5968647)
7 NHL teams and 8 NBA teams didn't even return this season.

as of tomorrow, 8 more NHL teams will be gone - followed soon by 6 more NBA teams.

in a couple of weeks, only 8 teams in each league will still be playing - while all 30 MLB teams will be, if we're lucky.
   6. bobm Posted: August 09, 2020 at 05:17 PM (#5968658)
play a little bit less games

You mean "fewer games", right?


No, he means 7-inning games instead of 9-inning games. :-)
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 09, 2020 at 08:31 PM (#5968686)
Former journalism major props to 4 and 6.
   8. Hank Gillette Posted: August 10, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5968874)
Asking the entire league to be in the bubble for 2 1/2-3 months THEN play the playoffs is a big ask and I don’t blame the players for being uncomfortable with that.


Well, it’s not like they were being asked to go overseas to fight for their country or anything like that. They would have been staying in nice hotels with good food and being paid what most Americans can only dream of.

This idea that you can have a pandemic and live your life normally is ridiculous.

I doubt a bubble was even feasible; the number of people needed would have made the logistics insurmountable, I think. But plenty of people have sacrificed a lot more than being separated from their family for a few months while living in luxury.
   9. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: August 10, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5968880)
Is there a plan for a minimum number of games played to qualify for the playoffs? Should there be one? Say the Cardinals don't get their act together until the final 2 weeks of the season, and wind up 11-8 (.579 W%). Should they advance instead of a team that went 32-28 (.533)?
   10. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 10, 2020 at 06:04 PM (#5968901)
Is there a plan for a minimum number of games played to qualify for the playoffs? Should there be one? Say the Cardinals don't get their act together until the final 2 weeks of the season, and wind up 11-8 (.579 W%). Should they advance instead of a team that went 32-28 (.533)?

Depends. If it's the Rockies or Pirates or Rays who would make the playoffs this way, then "no." If it's the Cardinals, Cubs, or (lol) Red Sox, then "yes."
   11. sunday silence (again) Posted: August 10, 2020 at 09:38 PM (#5968944)
I guess the bigger issue is what happens to a team that has to isolate during the playoffs? do they get eliminated or does the entire playoff format have to pause?

I guess the season is not teetering in the sense that it looks more than likely to complete the season. But the covid outbreaks will continue and probably 6 or 8 teams may be severely impacted but the season is doable I guess.

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