New York .——- Big leagues Baseball players are exploring various options that could allow the season to begin if the medical situation allows, including a plan in which the 30 teams could be divided into three regional divisions.
That plan, if used, would break the traditional alignments of the American and National Leagues. It would also cut travel during coronavirus pandemic.
MLB It has also looked at the settings for all-Arizona, Arizona-and-Florida and Arizona-plus-Texas-plus Florida, people said. The latest plan was first reported by USA Today.
MLB has also investigated the start of the season in Arizona, Texas and Florida, playing in baseball stadiums empty. The teams could later switch to their regular season stadiums if the health situation allows.
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And if conditions improve later in the year, they could possibly start playing earlier than fans with only a percentage of seats sold.
Opening day had been scheduled for March 26, but the new coronavirus caused MLB to delay the start in mid-May at the earliest.
Any plan would be subject to medical approval plus the consent of federal, state, and local authorities. Any schedule with games on neutral or fanless sites would require an agreement between MLB and the players association.
Baseball is also considering expanding the playoffs beyond the current 10-team format. Officials have discussed extending the playoffs through November or possibly even December, using vaulted baseball stadiums and warm-weather cities.
Any plan would be contingent on baseball gaining access to the test from some 3,000 people on a regular basis: about 1,200 players plus staff and broadcast staff.
Players will most likely need three to four weeks of training before opening day.