Reports coming out today that Major League Baseball is going to have bubble playoffs this season.
From Ken Rosenthal:
Major League Baseball and the Players Association reached agreement late last night on a plan for the 2020 postseason, including neutral-site bubbles for the Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series, sources tell The Athletic. Announcement expected today.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 15, 2020
Joel Sherman at the New York Post says the first round will be played in the higher-seed’s home park, while the National League bubble is in Texas and the American League bubble is in Southern California. The World Series, he says, will be played in Arlington, at the new Rangers Park.
Keep in mind, with the new, expanded, 16-team playoff format, the first round will be a best-of-three series. So if the season ended today, the #7 Phillies would play the #2 Cubs at Wrigley Field, with zero games at Citizens Bank Park. If they got past the Cubbies, they would go to Texas for the second round.
This is similar to the NHL’s dueling hub cities, only they won’t use the bubbles for the first round.
More from Sherman:
Heard the plan right now:
–players on contending teams will have to quarantine at a hotel in the final 7 days of the reg season
—daily COVID testing
—players can elect to leave the hotel if their team is eliminated
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) September 15, 2020
Thoughts? Sherman says all contending teams “will have to move into a hotel (even at home),” which seems inconvenient. But if that gets us to the playoffs with no COVID issues, then that’s the most important part.