Will the restrictions of the COVID-19 lead to permanent changes for the Miami Marlins and MLB moving forward?
At some point, hopefully soon, the Major League front office will devise a plan that will lead to the start of the 2020 season. And at that time, the Miami Marlins, just like the other 29 franchises in play, will have a chance to hoist a World Series championship title in South Florida.
The competition the Marlins will face may be different from in years past. And the decision to potentially realign the National League East team with other organizations that are geographically closer in proximity to each other based on Sprint Training venues could lead to a permanent decision for divisional change.
That’s not just for the betterment of the Miami Marlins, but the creation of new territorial play would keep in the focus of this game-changing to appease the masses. It may start with a three-division realignment and continue with the use of the designated hitter for all teams and eventually a permanent change in the landscape of MLB as we have known it.
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"“COVID-19 has forced baseball to hit the reset button and one of the ideas being discussed, as first reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, calls for a shortened season played with a schedule that scales down travel,” writes Tim Keegan of the Boston Herald.“The three 10-team divisions are grouped based on geography and the entire schedule is filled with games played against division rivals.”"
It’s hard to fathom such a huge undertaking, especially when we have become accustomed to seeing the Miami Marlins play in a division with anyone else besides the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies, but if you think about it, the change could do this team some good.
The Marlins have not had a winning season since 2009 and have not made the playoffs since 2003.
Based on the projections, the Marlins would share the Eastern division, with Baltimore, Boston, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Washington. There would be new teams on the schedule mixed with the newness of playing American League heavyweights.
First, the decision of where to play games must happen. Next, how the season should playout, meaning how many games can be squeezed in. Third, there must be a decision made on whether the realignment means a change in how games are played. I’m talking about the designated hitter.
Most importantly, are these temporary solutions or permanent fixes that impact the game’s future?
These are decisions commissioner Rob Manfred and the 30 team owners – including Derek Jeter – will have to work through. The Coronavirus has made MLB stop and take a look at how the game is being played. It may help change the direction of the game as a more exciting sport.
That could be one of the few positives that come out of this tragedy and the work stoppage in baseball. The Miami Marlins could have new opponents with a real chance to make the playoffs in 2020. That would sure change fans’ opinions once the season starts, whenever that happens.