Major League Baseball could be undergoing some changes when the postseason rolls around. After restarting play amid the coronavirus pandemic, the league has seen outbreaks on the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals rosters.
To avoid any disastrous end to the season, MLB could be taking the same approach as the NBA, MLS, and NHL by moving to a bubble for the playoffs.
According to the Los Angeles Times, MLB could move to three hubs to start off the postseason before moving down to two sites for the ALCS and NLCS. While no official cities have been named, the report states Southern California, Chicago, and New York are being considered as options.
From the report:
A postseason bubble would last for no more than one month, with players free to leave as soon as their teams were eliminated. A bubble cannot eliminate the risk of a player contracting the virus, but it can reduce it. Dr. Zach Binney, an epidemiologist at Emory University, said he would recommend that teams quarantine for three days before entering the bubble. At that point, players could enter the bubble and the postseason could start but with no off-field contact with players on other teams for another four days.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including the NCAA Tournament, Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NBA, NHL, and MLS temporarily suspended their seasons.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 5 million confirmed cases and 163,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.