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Report: MLB Discussing AL, NL Postseason Bubbles in California and Texas

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2020

The San Diego Padres, front, and the Los Angeles Angels stand for the singing of the national anthem before an exhibition baseball game at Petco Park, Monday, July 20, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

MLB is currently discussing holding the playoffs at "controlled sites," according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

In the current proposal, the American League could have games in Southern California while the National League would have games in Texas, leaving the World Series to be played at a neutral site at the Texas Rangers' new park.

The approach could be similar to the bubbles utilized in the NBA and NHL for their restarts, helping reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the teams involved. With stadiums already devoid of spectators, it shouldn't affect any home-field advantage for top squads.

However, any changes would be subject to approval by owners and the MLBPA.

Evan Drellich of The Athletic first reported the idea of the neutral playoff games earlier this month, helping reduce travel for teams and having more control over the environments.

The Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals each had outbreaks of the coronavirus since the start of the season, causing the postponement of multiple series. The New York Mets were forced to postpone games last weekend due to positive COVID-19 tests.

Neutral sites could help prevent any cancellations that would greatly alter the playoffs.

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Jayson Stark of The Athletic noted Aug. 12 Southern California is a top option for any controlled environment due to the fact there are three stadiums—Dodgers Stadium, Angel Stadium and Petco Park—plus quality weather. Texas could use the Rangers' old and new stadiums as well as Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Other options could include East coast venues in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore or Washington D.C.

The league must make arrangements for an expanded playoff with 16 playoff teams this season, creating more challenges while trying to determine a champion for the 2020 season.

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