The MLB has announced its postseason plan, and not everyone is happy. For the first time since 1944, the World Series will begin October 20 at a neutral site (Arlington, Texas) as will the division series and the championship series. The first-round wild card games will be best of three series featuring an expanded 16-team line-up in the top-seeded teams’ home stadiums. The action will then move to the bubbles. The four sites of the bubble will be:
- Arlington’s new Globe Life Park: World Series and NL Division Series
- Houston’s Minute Maid Park: NL Championship Series and NL Division Series
- San Diego’s PetCo Park: AL Division Series and AL Championship Series
- Los Angeles’s Dodger Stadium: AL Division Series
League makes its case
“In the view of our infectious disease experts, the biggest risk of exposure for players and staff is contact with family members and friends who have been exposed to COVID-19 in their communities,” deputy commissioner Dan Halem wrote in a memo sent to teams Monday night. “Nearly all of the positive test results that have been reported for players and staff in the last month can be traced back to contact with an infected family member, domestic partner or friend outside of club facilities.”
Everyone goes into quarantine
The teams will consist of 28 active roster players, 12 taxi-squad players and 50 team personnel. Personnel must travel with the team or stay in the quarantine hotel. Up to six family members (or childcare helpers) to be with players in the bubble must go through a supervised weeklong quarantine.
Under certain circumstances, MLB will allow players to quarantine at home. It will be a rare exception (such as having a pregnant spouse). They may also have six other family members not in the bubble hotels that they can visit in controlled outdoor spaces.
Working for the most
Many players who did not choose to compete this year cited isolation from family as a reason. More have cited it as an issue during the season. But after a rocky start filled with false results or inability to process tests, baseball found its footing. This improvement and the NBA and MLS bubbles’ success have prompted the players union to sign off on it even though some representatives have previously voiced concerns.