MLB's Adding Florida and Radical Realignment to Its Contingency Plan
When Jack Roy decided to become a stand-up comedian, he decided his persona needed to be catchier than Jack Roy.
So he changed it to Rodney Dangerfield.
It happened in a roundabout way, but when OG got around to explaining it, his logic was direct and to the point:
If you're going to change your name, change it!
All he needed to do then was toss a bitta urban legend around the edges:
In MLB's quest to figure out how to proceed with a 2020 season in hopes that it'll actually happen, it's been kinda vanilla-crazy, brainstorming the concept of quarantining all 30 teams in the Valley of the Sun and having at it.
Now, they're starting to get into the swing of things. If they've gotta adapt my making changes, then make changes, dammit!
For starters, something more practical than cramming 30 teams into 10 MLB-type fields, which is the Cactus League's capacity.
Half the teams train in Florida, so why not make use of their spring training facilities, too?
This could address two major logistical issue:
- Florida would add 16 more MLB-type fields, including the Marlins' and Rays' domed stadiums; and
- Allow more versatility as to where players would stay in a quarantine situation.
A vast majority of them already have arrangements near their spring training complexes. Veterans have primary or second homes there, and apartment managers have relationships with teams to house other players on short-term lets.
As to the quarantine, they'd be going the same thing health and other essential workers do: be at their jobs or their accommodations. There'd be lotsa honor-system issues, of course, but unless all involved in the MLB season are cooped up in hotels, that's gonna be an unavoidable risk.
The exciting aspect of this concept is giving the American and National League formats a one-year break and forming regular-season Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues with each of them having three five-team divisions:
- Schedules would call for 12 intradivision games per opponent and 6 interdivision games per opponent;
- There would have to be one double-header per day per league so each team would play each day;
- Post-season would either include the usual number of wild cards or maybe even an all-inclusive tournament;
- The DH would likely be universal; and
- There would be more broadcast windows for telecasts with the Eastern time zone being added.
That'd be heavy, right-on, and solid.
It does look good on paper, and fans with fantasy teams are no doubt having wet dreams with the prospects of, say:
- New Phillies manager Joe Girardi meeting the Yankees 12 times,
- New Angels manager Joe Maddon getting the same against the Cubs, and/or
- A possible Cardinals vs Cubs World Series for the first time in over a century.
Keep in mind this idea -- like the Arizona-only concept -- is still merely in the brainstorm stage. There has been no pursuit of either past the what if stage.
The only sure way to get MLB's and other sports' seasons underway is to develop a proven-effective vaccine to prevent Covid-19. The odds of that happening before the end of the summer are not as ideal as the Arizona-Florida solution.
In other words, baseball's still got lotsa time to develop this plan, should it so choose, or come up with something even crazier.