With all pro sports in limbo due to the COVID-19 crisis in the United States, leagues are exploring all options in order to get its product back into action.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the main U.S. disease experts in the fight against COVID-19, said in a Snapchat interview with Peter Hamby that professional sports could return this year with empty venues and players staying in hotels, or areas where they can be isolated and monitored safely.
For Major League Baseball, the league has been assessing multiple ideas on how to get baseball back on the diamond in a safe atmosphere.
A couple of ideas, which could be entertaining for both players and fans, would be sending teams back to their spring training facilities where they would play the season at their Florida and Arizona homes, be placed in divisions that are geographically close to each other and possibly play the World Series in either Miami or Tampa in their domed stadiums.
In this idea, the realignment of teams would completely mix AL and NL squads together and for Indians fans, they could be in a division with cross-state rival Cincinnati, the LA Dodgers, LA Angels and the Chicago White Sox.
NORTH: New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates.
SOUTH: Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles.
EAST: Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins.
NORTHEAST: Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics.
WEST: LA Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels.
NORTHWEST: Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals.
Major League Baseball is discussing several scenarios to salvage their season with the novel coronavirus putting the 2020 campaign in jeopardy.
The setup for that type of season; how many regular season games, playoff format, etc., is unknown but it would make for a really enjoyable season where teams that rarely play each other will now play a division schedule together.
One would think that the DH would be in effect for all teams due to the league crossover and new rivalries could be born from this. For instance, you have last year's World Series participants in a division together (Washington and Houston) and after the cheating scandal of the Astros and the way the series played out, that could bring Yankees-Red Sox-type of heat.
Another idea thrown out there is one of putting all teams into Arizona to play out the season. Last week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said the state is willing to host all 30 teams at the time public health concerns allow.
This idea would probably keep teams in their respective divisions and one would think the Florida teams would share a spring training field with their in-division cactus league opponents, but those ideas are currently unknown.
There is also Chase Field, home of the Diamondbacks, as well as college fields around the Phoenix area that could also be used if needed.
One would also think Chase Field would be used in a playoff situation.
We do know this. If baseball does in fact return this season without fans, no matter where it's played, the TV networks will benefit exponentially and could make this one of the most-watched seasons in quite some time and no matter how it is played, it would help fans get back to some type of normalcy in the summer months.