MLB Reportedly Discussing Playing Entire Postseason in Neutral Bubble

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2020

Players walk off the field during baseball training at Petco Park, Monday, July 6, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Major League Baseball is reportedly considering using neutral sites for the entire postseason, likely utilizing an area with at least three stadiums within a close area to reduce travel, according to Jayson Stark of The Athletic.

Potential options include Chicago/Milwaukee and New York/Philadelphia, but Southern California could be the best choice.

"Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium and PETCO Park are all within driving distance of each other and feature excellent meteorological conditions. So they're high on this list of options," Stark wrote.

Evan Drellich of The Athletic previously reported MLB is considering a bubble-type scenario for the playoffs in order to keep players safe amid the coronavirus pandemic. The MLB operations manual for 2020 states the league "has the right to conduct some or all of the 2020 postseason in neutral sites (including other Clubs' home ballparks)," per Drellich.

Stark noted MLB is a "long way" from making this decision, but the idea does have support from some baseball personnel.

"I thought that before this season even began, when MLB was considering all different ways to conduct the season," Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon told Stark. "Even from the beginning, I thought it would be interesting and wise to do that."

One challenge is the scope of the postseason, which this year has been expanded to feature 16 teams that will each compete in a best-of-three wild-card series. It creates a lot of games in a short time period, necessitating at least three stadiums and possibly more.

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The playoffs are currently scheduled to be played in teams' home stadiums, but that could change if MLB decides neutral sites are a safer option.