COVID-19 and the Red Sox

helloooonewman

New Member
Jul 16, 2005
15
Halifax, Nova Scotia
I thought the simplest solution was to settle on 3 locations with 10 teams in each city to play out the season. The NHL has 12 teams in each bubble and they've rented out a couple of luxury hotels in each city. They're running their playoffs with just a couple of ice sheets in each city. A Major League city with a couple of stadiums could host 5 games a day.

The MLB schedule is already confined to East v. East, Central v. Central, West v. West teams so why not have all of the East games in NYC where there are a couple of major league stadiums with the necessary "back of the house" and media amenities set up? The Central games in Chicago and the West games played in LA or the Bay area. This wouldn't really be a bubble, but I'd like to think that removing all of the air travel and multiple hotel stops throughout the season would keep everyone safer. Couldn't the Toilet host 3 games in a day and Citi field host 2?
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
23,232
Pittsburgh, PA
Where? Those are the states that are in the worst shape currently.
Or, you know, the lack of a self contained sports complex with five playing fields to accommodate all the necessary games.
It's really not hard to find a complex with a bunch of good baseball fields for practices and great ones for games, especially if you can fix a few of them up, and even easier if you can include some turf ones. Way easier than finding a bunch of pro-grade football fields. I only thoroughly know the landscape of fields in NYC, but I can tell you that between Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, the minor-league parks in Brooklyn and Staten Island, and the various college teams' fields, you've easily got a good chunk of MLB covered (not to mention hotel rooms that are desperate right now). I'd imagine the same could be said for Chicago, SF, or most other top-20 cities in the country. The older a city is, the more its baseball infrastructure is likely developed - maybe not to the point of NYC, which was the great disseminator of the sport in the late 19th to early 20th century, but sufficient to host a good fraction of MLB.

And that's a big-city bubble model, where you just beg players not to go out other than via pre-arranged and secured team outings and such (but hey, they get better delivery-food options!). There are probably small-city or small-town bubble models, closer to that of the NBA's Disney World one. Some ideas:

- If Omaha can host the CWS, I bet ya it can host MLB too, with a little flexibility on field quality.
- There are large, baseball-centric sports complexes in plenty of places, and some of them are Little League-sized and centric, but others have plenty of full-size fields. Take a look at this list (in the South), or this one (nationwide).
- You've got all the sites for Townball in the midwest, particularly Minnesota and Wisconsin but also other states. Those fields may not be MLB-quality, but they're at least minor league quality (with smaller seating capacity), and it wouldn't take an act of god to groom them to spec.

With the latter two ideas, broadcasting might get dicey, but I've seen plenty of ESPN-quality broadcasts that were done out of a truck with just a scissor lift and a few cameras and mics. God knows the production crews for sports events out there (including a number that ESPN hires regularly) are pretty much sitting around hoping the phone rings. It really wouldn't be an unsolvable problem, you just need the will to do it.
 
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nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
22,120
Rogers Park
I thought the simplest solution was to settle on 3 locations with 10 teams in each city to play out the season. The NHL has 12 teams in each bubble and they've rented out a couple of luxury hotels in each city. They're running their playoffs with just a couple of ice sheets in each city. A Major League city with a couple of stadiums could host 5 games a day.

The MLB schedule is already confined to East v. East, Central v. Central, West v. West teams so why not have all of the East games in NYC where there are a couple of major league stadiums with the necessary "back of the house" and media amenities set up? The Central games in Chicago and the West games played in LA or the Bay area. This wouldn't really be a bubble, but I'd like to think that removing all of the air travel and multiple hotel stops throughout the season would keep everyone safer. Couldn't the Toilet host 3 games in a day and Citi field host 2?
This is what I proposed in one of the COVID threads. You need to do 15 games a day. So you really need three locations with five fields.

You rent a few NCAA fields from cash-strapped colleges (Stanford, Northwestern, Fordham, SUNY at Stony Brook) or minor league/Indy ball teams (San Jose Giants/Sacramento River Cats, Brooklyn Cyclones, Gary Railcats), and you can easily put it together in NY/NJ, Chicago/Milwaukee, and the Bay Area. Rent out an entire hotel in Manhattan, downtown Oakland, and Chicago — hell, the Chicago convention center at McCormick, just across Chinatown from Guaranteed Rate Field, can't be doing a ton of business right now.

Or you could divide the league into five divisions of six teams: then you just need three fields in each locale. The season feels like watching the (four-team) CPBL, but at least it happens:

Northeast (Yankee Stadium, CITI, Coney Island) | BOS, NYY, NYM, PHI, TOR, PIT
Great Lakes (Wrigley, Guaranteed Rate, Miller Park) | CHN, CHA, MIL, CLE, DET, MIN
Pacific Coast (Oracle, O.Co, Sacramento) | SFG, OAK, SEA, SD, LAA, LAD
Plains (MinuteMaid, U of H, Rice) | ARI, HOU, TEX, COL, KC, STL
Southeast (SunTrust, Georgia Tech, Emory) | MIA, TBR, ATL, BAL, WAS, CIN
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
8,469
New York City
I thought the simplest solution was to settle on 3 locations with 10 teams in each city to play out the season. The NHL has 12 teams in each bubble and they've rented out a couple of luxury hotels in each city. They're running their playoffs with just a couple of ice sheets in each city. A Major League city with a couple of stadiums could host 5 games a day.

The MLB schedule is already confined to East v. East, Central v. Central, West v. West teams so why not have all of the East games in NYC where there are a couple of major league stadiums with the necessary "back of the house" and media amenities set up? The Central games in Chicago and the West games played in LA or the Bay area. This wouldn't really be a bubble, but I'd like to think that removing all of the air travel and multiple hotel stops throughout the season would keep everyone safer. Couldn't the Toilet host 3 games in a day and Citi field host 2?
Yeah, I really don't understand why they didn't take this approach. This would also address the problem of making up games - if the Marlins and Baltimore need to make up a few games in this scenario it's much easier for them to just play on one of their scheduled off days, whereas now they will need to coordinate travel schedules (and the additional travel, of course, only increases the risk).

Is it as good as the NBA model? No, but it's a heck of a lot better than MLB's current approach.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
22,120
Rogers Park
It's really not hard to find a complex with a bunch of good baseball fields for practices and great ones for games, especially if you can fix a few of them up, and even easier if you can include some turf ones. Way easier than finding a bunch of pro-grade football fields. I only thoroughly know the landscape of fields in NYC, but I can tell you that between Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, the minor-league parks in Brooklyn and Staten Island, and the various college teams' fields, you've easily got a good chunk of MLB covered (not to mention hotel rooms that are desperate right now). I'd imagine the same could be said for Chicago, SF, or most other top-20 cities in the country. The older a city is, the more its baseball infrastructure is likely developed - maybe not to the point of NYC, which was the great disseminator of the sport in the late 19th to early 20th century, but sufficient to host a good fraction of MLB.

And that's a big-city bubble model, where you just beg players not to go out other than via pre-arranged and secured team outings and such (but hey, they get better delivery-food options!). There are probably small-city or small-town bubble models, closer to that of the NBA's Disney World one. Some ideas:

- If Omaha can host the CWS, I bet ya it can host MLB too, with a little flexibility on field quality.
- There are large, baseball-centric sports complexes in plenty of places, and some of them are Little League-sized and centric, but others have plenty of full-size fields. Take a look at this list (in the South), or this one (nationwide).
- You've got all the sites for Townball in the midwest, particularly Minnesota and Wisconsin but also other states. Those fields may not be MLB-quality, but they're at least minor league quality (with smaller seating capacity), and it wouldn't take an act of god to groom them to spec.

With the latter two ideas, broadcasting might get dicey, but I've seen plenty of ESPN-quality broadcasts that were done out of a truck with just a scissor lift and a few cameras and mics. God knows the production crews for sports events out there (including a number that ESPN hires regularly) are pretty much sitting around hoping the phone rings. It really wouldn't be an unsolvable problem, you just need the will to do it.
Omaha is an amazing idea.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
21,544
Maine
The trouble with the bubble/hub idea isn't and wasn't really the capacity of the site(s), it was the players. Players didn't want to isolate for as long as it would take to play the season plus playoffs. The spring training site idea fell apart not because of the feasibility of the locations, but because players were balking at a 100ish game season away from home and presumably isolated from their family.

Even with what they ended up with for a season, I don't see the majority of players going along with isolating in a particular city for nearly 3 months. They'd be demanding being allowed to bring in family, and with that would come their own housing as opposed to a team-only hotel or resort or whatever. And then the bubble becomes unsustainable despite all best efforts.
 

Orel Miraculous

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Nov 16, 2006
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Mostly Airports and Hotels
The trouble with the bubble/hub idea isn't and wasn't really the capacity of the site(s), it was the players. Players didn't want to isolate for as long as it would take to play the season plus playoffs. The spring training site idea fell apart not because of the feasibility of the locations, but because players were balking at a 100ish game season away from home and presumably isolated from their family.

Even with what they ended up with for a season, I don't see the majority of players going along with isolating in a particular city for nearly 3 months. They'd be demanding being allowed to bring in family, and with that would come their own housing as opposed to a team-only hotel or resort or whatever. And then the bubble becomes unsustainable despite all best efforts.
All of which are completely legitimate concerns to be raised by the players. All of these ridiculous bubble ideas pretend that the players are strat-o-matic baseball cards instead of human beings.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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SoSH Member
Sep 10, 2017
6,184
True, what we forget about the baseball bubble is that the NBA has played most of their season and it is always easier to make concessions when the parties have gotten through more than three quarters of the task at hand. It will only take a short time for families to be allowed in the bubble, and there are basically 2 weeks of the regular season then the rest of the time will be spent in the playoffs when guys are already used to making sacrifices for and keeping their focus. That is why I have always thought the likelihood of finishing this season is much greater than starting the next season by EOY. Even with the NBA's relative peace there will be resistance to a bubble approach over a long season, and the league may conclude a normal season with travel is too risky to commence by November/December.

But when starting from scratch for a season like MLB is where it is 2 long months of regular season games every day, there is going to be a lot more inertia from the players to isolate. In addition, there is no unifying message the players rally around and gain publicity for like the NBA has for Black Lives Matter, as due to the relative minority of Black players the BLM movement in MLB will be largely forgotten about soon after opening weekend.
 

dynomite

Member
SoSH Member
The trouble with the bubble/hub idea isn't and wasn't really the capacity of the site(s), it was the players. Players didn't want to isolate for as long as it would take to play the season plus playoffs. The spring training site idea fell apart not because of the feasibility of the locations, but because players were balking at a 100ish game season away from home and presumably isolated from their family.

Even with what they ended up with for a season, I don't see the majority of players going along with isolating in a particular city for nearly 3 months. They'd be demanding being allowed to bring in family, and with that would come their own housing as opposed to a team-only hotel or resort or whatever. And then the bubble becomes unsustainable despite all best efforts.
As between this “season” which seems inevitably doomed from the start and following the lead of the NBA & NHL, I do think this is what should have happened. If more players opt out, fine, and if they have to shorten season even more, fine.

To paraphrase Drew Magary, you have two choices: play this season in a bubble or don’t play it at all.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
25,438
All of which are completely legitimate concerns to be raised by the players. All of these ridiculous bubble ideas pretend that the players are strat-o-matic baseball cards instead of human beings.
For sure this puts a huge strain on them being isolated like this and away from their families.

But....

Tons of people in tons of other jobs have to be away from their families for months at a time too. Merchant marines, people who work on oil rigs, people in the military, etc. And none of those people are making anywhere near the kind of money pro athletes are making.

If you're talking about the silliness of the idea that 20-35 year old men will consistently and faithfully remain in the bubble and not seek ways to, uh, indulge their sexual nature outside the bubble, you're probably right.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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Tons of people in tons of other jobs have to be away from their families for months at a time too. Merchant marines, people who work on oil rigs, people in the military, etc. And none of those people are making anywhere near the kind of money pro athletes are making.
Sure, but these people knew that's what they were signing up for. Pro athletes did not sign up for this as a requirement for making their big money. That's a significant difference.
In general, I'm actually in favor of trying for some type of bubble, I just don't think this type of comparison is particularly applicable or helpful.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
25,438
Sure, but these people knew that's what they were signing up for. Pro athletes did not sign up for this as a requirement for making their big money. That's a significant difference.
In general, I'm actually in favor of trying for some type of bubble, I just don't think this type of comparison is particularly applicable or helpful.
I agree - they didn't know this would happen and didn't sign up for it when they pursued pro sports as a profession. But then again, none of us signed up for this. Teachers, doctors, first responders, restaurant owners, parents of school-aged kids, colleges, you name it...none of us signed up for this. Everyone is having to make adjustments - some minor, and some massive - to get through this.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

has big, douchey shoulders
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I agree - they didn't know this would happen and didn't sign up for it when they pursued pro sports as a profession. But then again, none of us signed up for this. Teachers, doctors, first responders, restaurant owners, parents of school-aged kids, colleges, you name it...none of us signed up for this. Everyone is having to make adjustments - some minor, and some massive - to get through this.
Exactly. So they're similar to us, as opposed to people who are doing what they did sign up for.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
25,438
Exactly. So they're similar to us, as opposed to people who are doing what they did sign up for.
Yes but my point about the other folks is that lots of people have to live quite a while separated from their families. Most of these guys can swing it for a couple of months. It's not fun, and they would rather not - and some will opt out - but it's doable. That was my point.
 

InsideTheParker

persists in error
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
41,411
Pioneer Valley
Folks, isn't it obvious that the opting out baseball players aren't just like regular folks. They have beaucoup bucks in the bank and can afford to take a break.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Sep 10, 2017
6,184
Yes but my point about the other folks is that lots of people have to live quite a while separated from their families. Most of these guys can swing it for a couple of months. It's not fun, and they would rather not - and some will opt out - but it's doable. That was my point.
However missing from this is the collective bargaining between MLB and MLBPA. Players have already opted out with the relatively comfortable arrangement of the baseball season. If the bubble option went forward, well then hello AAA season as most everyday major leaguers will take their savings and sit out this year.

Edit: or like ITP said.
 

brandonchristensen

Loves Aaron Judge
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Feb 4, 2012
38,919
It’s a shame that the entire 2020 Red Sox team sadly caught COVID and died shortly before the season started.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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Jul 6, 2006
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The thought there was teams could use their spring training sites, with plenty of fields, trainers and space. They forgot the whole “living there” parts that would have put everyone in jeopardy
They also forgot that it’s 96 degrees in the shade on those fields in July and August. And that’s after sunset. (106 in Arizona, but it’s a dry heat there.)