By: Chandler Hubert
On April 14th, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, announced he is in support of sports returning this season in an extremely controlled environment. Despite this announcement only being made two days ago, Major League Baseball has brainstorming ideas to make this happen for weeks.
These numerous ideas are beginning to form into a plan to potentially have baseball returning as early as the end of May: the Arizona Plan.
Teams would report to their spring training site in Arizona or Florida, and games would only be played at these two locations. Teams would then be divided into two divisions geographically rather than the American League and the National League. Therefore, the traditional format since 1903 of an American League team versus a National League team in the World Series would be just one of the many changes to this unusual season.
The breakdown of the two divisions would be as follows:
Florida (Grapefruit League): Braves, Orioles, Red Sox, Tigers, Astros, Marlins, Twins, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Pirates, Cardinals, Rays, Blue Jays, and Nationals.
Arizona (Cactus League): Diamondbacks, Cubs, White Sox, Reds, Indians, Rockies, Royals, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers, Athletics, Padres, Giants, Mariners, and Rangers .
Of course even with this plan coming to fruition there are still many hurdles and other abnormalities to expect. For example, changes will be necessary to limit social contact, such as perhaps filling the stands with players rather than fans. Instead of standing in the dugouts, having the space of the stands would allow for greater distance between players.
The Arizona Plan is just that, a plan. It is hope that fans will see their favorite teams back on the field, but it is by no means certain. One thing we do know is if this season is played, it will not look like anything we have seen before.