MLB Announces Dates, Locations for Playoff Plan Featuring Neutral-Site Bubbles

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2020

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred answers questions at a press conference during MLB baseball owners meetings, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association reached an agreement to host most of the 2020 playoffs, including the division series, league championship series and World Series, in neutral-site "bubbles."

The league unveiled the locations for the postseason Tuesday, also noting the American League playoffs will begin Sept. 29, while the National League will open play one day later on Sept. 30:

Here's a full breakdown of the postseason schedule:

With the World Series being played solely at Globe Life Park in Arlington (home of the Texas Rangers), it will mark the first time since 1944 that the entire Fall Classic will be played at one venue, per Ronald Blum of the Associated Press.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post and Bob Nightengale of USA Today provided further information:

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One of the few sticking points in negotiations was how the league would handle quarantine requirements for players' family members who hoped to enter the bubble. Details are still uncertain, per Rosenthal.

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was among the players critical of a plan that would force families to quarantine for seven days. He told Rosenthal last week their families could attend road games during the regular season as long as they traveled on a private plane or drove themselves:

"You're asking us to choose between our families and the playoffs? That's a stupid question, especially when we've played however many successful games this season. Obviously, there were two blips early on (outbreaks with the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals) but it was out of poor choices by individuals. Other than that, it has been a pretty successful season. Why change all the protocols now?

"... We finish the last week of our season at home. I'd be at my house with my wife. Then they're like, 'We've got to separate you guys.' I don't understand why she would be quarantined. I lived with her the whole season."

An MLB source told The Athletic the league needed to take extra precaution for the postseason.

"You just can't be in a position to roll the dice and say, 'Look, the Dodgers have been fine so far. Let's hope it stays that way,'" the source said. "If you're running a league, it's not the type of policy you would want. It's basically a policy based on luck."

MLB didn't utilize the bubble concept during the regular season, and the first round of the expanded 16-team playoffs will take place at the higher seed's home stadium.

The NBA and NHL are among the leagues that have successfully used the bubble to complete their postseason, and MLB will follow in their footsteps.

A shortened 60-game regular season is scheduled to finish Sept. 27. The last possible date for the World Series is Oct. 31.