Too Little Too Late? MLB announces playoff bubbles

by Hannah Begay | By some miracle Major League Baseball has almost made it to the playoffs.

After numerous COVID-19 scares where baseball was sure to end, they persevered and made it. Now for the playoffs, MLB is doing a bubble similar to what has been seen in the NBA. The NBA bubble, as we have seen, has been the champion of the season. In all of the weeks the NBA has resumed, they have had zero positive cases. Gee, they found something that works. MLB lagged in this regard as they let numerous outbreaks happen on teams specifically the Marlins. Hence, MLB is trying to kiss and makeup with their devoted fans and players.

In agreement with the players association, Commissioner Rob Manfred decided the locations of said bubbles. Total there will be four bubbles; two for each league. The American League bubbles will be in San Diego and at Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium. The National League bubbles will be at Minute Maid Park where the Astros play and Globe Life Field where the Texas Rangers play.  The World Series will be played entirely at Globe Life Field; no more home field advantage unless you’re the Rangers. Players and coaching staff could be in the designated bubble hotels for 5 ½ weeks with each family member who is coming along having been tested prior to entering the bubble.

The interesting thing about playing at Globe Life Field is it is all brand new with turf. Playing on turf is completely different than playing on ordinary dirt. The ball takes sharper hops than usual among other wacky things the turf can cause. I think it’s a good decision as most teams do not play on turf. However, I would hate to see a team lose the World Series in the bottom of the 9th and two outs because of a weird hop off the turf that we know wouldn’t have happened on dirt. To play or not to play on turf is a whole other argument but it is worth bringing up.

There has been no decision made as to whether there will be fans allowed for the Divisional and Championship series. MLB deputy commissioner Dan Helm stated in a memo sent to each team regarding fans and COVID-19.

“In the view of our infectious disease experts, the biggest risk of exposure for players and staff is contact with family members and friends who have been exposed to COVID-19 in their communities,” said Helm. “Nearly all of the positive test results that have been reported for players and staff in the last month can be traced back to contact with an infected family member, domestic partner, or friend outside of club facilities.”

That’s just great that your experts are doing research, however, what does that have to with the safety of fans? As a professional organization with one of the world’s largest followings, MLB has a responsibility whether or not they like it to keep fans safe. Yes, the players also must be kept safe, but they don’t matter any more or any less than the fans do. If you want the revenue from fan attendance you best make sure there are policies in place to keep them safe. During this time of the pandemic, you can’t assume anything. As an organization you will lose revenue if you cannot keep your fans safe; period. For once, MLB must make a strong decision on fan attendance for the playoffs and stick to their decision. They cannot waiver on this one as they have other previous decisions. It’s hard for such a money-making organization but do not make a decision solely off of money. Keep this in mind: people have died from COVID-19 – including the healthiest of people.

MLB, it is on you to make an appropriate decision and it is on you no matter the consequences.  

Featured image via Derrick Tuskan | Credit: AP | Copyright: Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


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