Major League Baseball desperately wants its 2020 season to begin, and when it does, they seem to have a plan in place that would eliminate the traditional National League and American League alignments.
A high-ranking official told Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports that all 30 teams would return to their spring training facilities in Florida and Arizona and would only compete in those states, but with zero fans in the stands.
This would be an effort to reduce travel and minimize risks in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The divisions would be realigned based on the geography of their spring training homes.
Here’s a look at one realignment structure:
- 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.
According to the report, the DH would likely become universal for the duration of the season.
“When you’re trying to get really creative, why say no now?” Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa said of the proposal. “So, you have a unique season. I’ve got no problem with that.”
“I’m not sure we’ll be able play in our own cities across the country, so if you split it up like that, it’s a possibility.’’
Right now, it’s just a wait-and-see game from the health and government officials to say it’s safe to resume play.