Major League Baseball is looking at holding the post-season in two “bubble” environments next month, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and The Athletic reported Tuesday.
Rosenthal, speaking on FS1, reported that the MLB and the players union are in discussing about the bubble format but that the basics would have the American League playing in Southern California and the National League playing in Texas.
Per Rosenthal, the AL playoffs could be held at two of the three major league parks in Southern California: Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Petco Park in San Diego.
The NL playoffs would be held at Minute Maid Park in Houston and Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, with the Rangers’ new home ballpark also serving as the site of the World Series.
The one piece of the puzzle that remains uncertain, according to Rosenthal, is the best-of-three wild-card round that will open the playoffs. It’s possible those series could be played at clubs’ home parks instead of being held in the bubbles.
“There also has been talk of shutting down or locking down the contenders who are at home that final week of the season to make sure they get through the incubation period and start the post-season without any positive tests,” Rosenthal said.
The plan likely will keep teams from playing in their home parks as the post-season progresses. The NL teams would be playing in two AL parks in Texas. The AL teams could play in two NL parks in Southern California, or Anaheim could be included if the Angels miss the playoffs. And with the Rangers owning the worst record in the majors entering play Tuesday, they are highly unlikely to reach the World Series.
After the coronavirus pandemic shuttered all major sports for several months, the NBA, NHL, WNBA, MLS and NWSL all returned to action in “bubble” set-ups. The “bubble” environment sees all teams quarantined at a location and while getting tested regularly for COVID-19, with the lack of outside interaction limiting the risk of players, coaches and staff members contracting the virus.