Had the 2020 MLB season started at the end of March like it was scheduled to, at this point we’d be starting to see divisions shape up, star pitchers and position players separating themselves from the rest of the league and a first look at who this year’s contenders and pretenders really would be. Sadly, the COVID-19 outbreak forced the league to postpone the start of the season, and now the question has become if there will be a season, not when.
Not to be dragged down by the idea of no baseball, Wall Street Journal sports writer Jared Diamond took a recent proposal the league floated for an abbreviated 2020 campaign and gamed out how that might look in real life. The league’s idea would do away with the National and American Leagues and divide all 30 MLB teams into three divisions of 10 teams separated by region, and those teams would play in empty stadiums and only against other teams in their geographic division in the interests of reducing travel. But how viable is this, really? And what other considerations would the league and players union have to take with regards to testing and protocol for what happens if someone were to contract COVID-19? Is there a world where baseball still happens this year?
Today on AirTalk, Jared Diamond joins the Triple Play of Larry Mantle, Nick Roman and A Martinez to talk about what a shortened 2020 MLB season might look like, which teams stand to win and lose the most from the realignment and what other precautions the league would have to take against the spread of COVID-19.
Jared Diamond, national baseball writer for the Wall Street Journal; his new book is "Swing Kings: The Inside Story of Baseball's Home Run Revolution” (William Morrow, March 2020); he tweets @jareddiamond