MLB officials appear likely to detail a reopening plan for the Angels and other teams soon.
It seems more and more likely that the LA Angels and the rest of MLB will play some version of a baseball season during 2020. We might learn what that looks like soon.
What this looks like remains to be seen. Over the past month or so we’ve heard all manners of ideas floated, from playing all the games in Arizona, to a three-state plan involving spring training sites plus Texas, to a regional plan dividing MLB into three divisions of teams playing in their home stadium.
Former player Trevor Plouffe tweeted that players were telling him they were instructed to begin getting ready for Spring Training II, which would begin in June. The national reporters agree that an early July start day seems to be the target, possibly July 1, or maybe July 4 for the symbolic imagery of “America’s game” beginning play on Independence Day.
That’s not the only plan that appears ready to come into focus. Baseball America reported Thursday that although nothing if finalized scouts and front-office types expect the draft will be held on time, June 10, and be limited to five rounds. BA noted most expect to hear word on that either Friday or early next week as well.
The question of how this looks to California is a valid one.
Under the regionalized plan, the Angels would join the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Astros, Dodgers, Athletics, Padres, Giants, Mariners, and Rangers in a West division. It makes some intuitive sense. Travel would be cut down without the need for cross-country flights. It’s not ideal: Seattle to Houston is still quite a distance apart. But at least it contains any possible spread to 10 teams rather than 30.
Although earlier this year Governor Newsom said there would not be sports in California, last week he tweaked the message to say there’d be no sports with fans, opening the door to live sports without them.
That, however, wouldn’t begin until Stage 3. California is currently in Stage 2. To advance to Stage 3,
That’s what happened with Taiwan’s baseball organization, and it’s currently the case in Korea too. Taiwan — the Chinese Professional Baseball League — will soon begin allowing some fans back with restrictions.
Although we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the sport in person, most fans enjoy professional sports through TV or streaming anyway, so it again makes some intuitive sense.