Despite all of the back and forth between the Owner =s and Players just to get the season started, both sides were able to get back onto the field and hold a 60-game season, which equates to a playoff sprint after the All-Star Break in a normal season. We all have figured out by now that 2020 is an abnormal year.
Once the season got started, the MLB had to deal with outbreaks between the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals, outbreaks that caused the Marlins to miss a week, and the Cardinals did not play for 17 days. Since then, there have been mini outbreaks as teams have only missed a grand total of 4 days worth of action and then they get right back on the field. After a rocky start, the MLB should be heading to a nice smooth finish at the end of the month.
Which brings us to this point today, the Owners and Players Association have agreed to a bubble plan for the playoffs, which should be music to everyone ears, considering how well the playoff bubbles have worked in the NHL and NBA, the league and the players knew that a bubble was necessary in order to crown a champions for the 2020 season.
According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic; both sides have reportedly agreed to host most of the 2020 playoffs, including the Division Series, League Championship Series and the World Series. in a neutral site bubble. An official announcement is expected later today.
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the plan is set, however, both sides are still discussing a way to integrate families into the playoff bubble. It is being reported that if family members do in fact enter the bubble, they would have to quarantine for seven days, and that has some players up in arms about the consistency of the protocols.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner has been vocal about the families protocols during the regular season and has a question about the families entering the bubble and the mandatory quarantine. However, he is okay with he playoff bubble, considering how much success baseball has had with the season, despite the hiccups.
Turner has come out and said: "You're asking us to choose between our families and the playoffs? Thats a stupid question, especially when we've played however many successful games this season. Obviously, there were two blips early on but it was out of poor choices by individuals. Other than that, it has been a pretty successful season. Why change the protocols now?"
To the way how the actual playoffs will work: with the expanded playoff field, the Wild Card round will played at seeds 1-4 home ballparks. Once we get to the Divison Series, the American League teams will be played at Petco Park and Dodger Stadium, while the National League will played in Globe Life Field and Minute Made Park.
Once we get to the League Championship Series, the American League will be played at Petco Park, while the National League will once again play at Globe Life Field. The World Series will be played at Globe Life Field only. Game 7 of the 2020 World Series will be no later than October 31st.
Unfortunately we will not see the our beloved Red Sox in this playoff format given the fact that the Sox currently own the worst record in the American League at 17-31 with just 12 games left to go in this shortened season, which has been a miserable one for the Red Sox.
However, this should a positive sign that the Players Association and the Owners have come together and made an agreement rather quickly, given everything that has happened before the season even started and what has happened during the season. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the MLB Owners and Players expires at the end of 2021 Season and there is still a chance that the players could either go on strike or the owners could lockout the players.
However, with this agreement getting done with little to no push back for the players, there could be a chance that both sides could potentially get a new CBA done either prior to the end of the 2021 season or before the Spring Training in 2022. That waits to be seen, but the MLB's bubble plan is set in stone and they have a great chance to finish the season without any issues after a stumbling start.