Coronavirus outbreaks have already had a significant effect on the truncated Major League Baseball regular season, as teams such as the Cardinals and Marlins have been sidelined for extended periods since the campaign opened a couple of weeks ago. That type of outcome would be even more catastrophic if it were to occur during the playoffs, so the league is at least considering a bubble format for the fall, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
According to Passan, the majors could mimic the National Hockey League in designating multiple cities to host its postseason. The NHL has turned to Edmonton and Toronto for its playoffs, and the league has so far been able to pull it off. MLB, on the other hand, has dealt with great adversity this year in allowing almost all of its teams to play in their home cities.
In the event baseball does follow the hockey model for the postseason, MLB would likely use “at least three hubs” during the wild-card round, Passan writes. That number would drop to two for the LDS and one or two for the LCS and World Series. There is still no one area that’s considered a front-runner for playoff baseball, but with so much revenue on the line, one official told Passan, “If we want to make sure we get through October, we really need to get this right.”