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Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer says a bubble might work for the 2020 postseason

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It’s a really good idea.

Theo Epstein (left) and Jed Hoyer watch the Cubs play July 25
Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Major League Baseball considered several “bubble” ideas for playing the 2020 season; ultimately, all of them were rejected and teams are playing in their home ballparks. We’ve seen how this might have led to a couple of teams (Marlins, Cardinals) having COVID-19 outbreaks and as a result, games were postponed. As of now, MLB intends for all the games to be made up.

We’ve also seen how the NBA and NHL did choose to resume play in bubble locations (Orlando for the NBA, Toronto and Edmonton for the NHL) and how these choices have virtually eliminated any COVID-19 exposure for those leagues. The NHL, in fact, recently reported zero positive tests:

That’s why this statement from Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer piqued my interest this afternoon:

It absolutely makes some sense. For the first round of this year’s 16-team postseason, as Hoyer noted, teams would only travel once, because the higher-seeded team would host all the games. After that, though, going into a division series setup where under normal circumstances, teams would travel twice (the 2-2-1 game setup) could be problematic.

Eight teams will remain after the first round, in four division series. Conceivably, these series could be played in four host cities — and the best idea would be to put them in domed stadiums where you’d be guaranteed games could be played. In the LCS round, you’d need only two stadiums, and for the World Series, just one. Other choices beyond domed stadiums could be southern California, where there are two MLB ballparks (three if you count Petco Park in San Diego), or Camden Yards and Nationals Park, separated by only about 40 miles.

What happens, though, to a team like the Cardinals, who will have 13 games to make up by the end of this week? Will they be able to get to 60 games? Commissioner Rob Manfred doesn’t appear to think so:

That’s a hint that all the Cardinals’ missed games might not have to be made up for them to have a “credible” season. As of now, the series against the Cubs from this past weekend, plus their current series with the Pirates that’s also been postponed, have not been rescheduled, though St. Louis’ other seven games have.

The bubble idea for the postseason is a solid one, in my opinion, especially if played in domed stadiums where weather wouldn’t be an issue.

Poll

Playing the 2020 MLB postseason in a "bubble" setup...

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Great idea! Get it done!
    (249 votes)
  • 5%
    No — teams need to be in their home parks
    (19 votes)
  • 15%
    Don’t care either way
    (51 votes)
319 votes total Vote Now