Major League Baseball may be in for an overhaul for the 2020 season. League officials have discussed the possibility of eliminating the American and National League for the 2020 campaign and resorting to realigning the divisions for a shortened season, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
This proposal is one of many being discussed by MLB, according to Nightengale, and the realignment would focus around teams returning to their spring training facilities in Florida and Arizona and only playing against teams in those states.
Here’s what Nightengale says those leagues and divisions could look like:
- North: New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates.
- South: Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles.
- East: Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins.
- Northeast: Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics.
- West: Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox. Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels.
- Northwest: Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals.
The Yankees being division rivals with the Phillies? The Red Sox squaring up against the Minnesota Twins in the South Division?
This realignment definitely is interesting, but many players have expressed their disinterest with these conversations over the last week. Put plainly, players aren’t willing to be away from their families just to play baseball.
“I think we have to keep practicing social distancing and start to see the trend of people getting infected and deaths go down and see the finish line to this before we talk about anything,” an anonymous pitcher said, according to ESPN. “Young single guys that want to make money and want to play, of course they’re going to be cool with it, but it’s different. Think about a player whose wife is pregnant right now and due in August. What is he going to say? Everyone is in different situations, and that’s the hard part about it.”
So, while the talks are preliminary and nothing is definite, the league definitely will have to take players’ opinions into account if they want to maintain what’s left of the integrity of the game.