Is playing baseball in 2020 a logical solution for the Miami Marlins and the remaining 29 teams as the league office tries to come up with a plan to start the 2020 season?
As the MLB league office continues to examine ways to start the 2020 season amid concerns of COVID–19, it appears the state of Arizona is willing to take on the challenge of hosting the Miami Marlins and the other 29 teams.
However, it must be when the time is right.
There are still issues to work out with logistics of playing a season in the cactus league, we’re all three teams would have a facility to call their own. Spring training baseball is played in both Arizona and Florida, which would make this move quite prolific if it were to happen.
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The Miami Marlins share a minor-league facility with the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter Florida.
"Per a story that appears on ESPN.com, “Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says his state is willing to host all 30 major league teams at the time public health concerns allow, which eventually could lead to the start of the baseball season primarily in empty spring training ballparks.”"
The safety of everyone involved is paramount as MLB is trying to devise a plan that would keep the potential distance between teams, players and everyone affiliated with such a plan to a minimum. The move would also mean logistics would have to be worked out so teams traveled together and did essentially everything in a quarantined situation outside the confines of the baseball field.
The Miami Marlins stopped all baseball operations on March 13 as MLB called of all Spring Training activities in the wake of the COVID-19 threat. Michael Hill, the team’s president of baseball operations has stated the organization is free of anyone having contacted the virus. Also, the Marlins have taken every step possible to make sure they are adhering to what MLB is asking of all 30 teams.
"“Our strength coaches and trainers are speaking to our players daily and making sure that they are safe, their families are safe, and that they are not experiencing any symptoms,” Hill said. “We’re happy to report we have been symptom-free as an organization.”"
Now the focus is on Arizona and whether such a move is possible under the current conditions of the nation and how MLB wants to make playing baseball a reality this season.
"“Arizona, at the right time, is very open-minded to hosting whatever Major League Baseball would like from the state,” Ducey said Tuesday in the ESPN.com story. “At the time that it would be appropriate for public health, if Arizona were in a position to reopen, we have the facilities that are here.”“We have the hotel space that is here,” he said. “We all want to make certain that the metrics and the data are proper before we’re able to go forward, but I think two words that would allow the country and the state of Arizona to know that things were headed back to normal would be: Play ball!”"
There is no word yet how much time each team will need to prepare for the season before it starts. Another plan proposed would have teams playing in both Arizona and Florida where they have their own training facilities. This would lead to changes in the realignment of divisions. It could also lead to the use of the designated hitter by all 30 MLB teams.