Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Hoarder of the Phoenix
Don't you wanna go back in time and pepper something like this into the 50s sci-fi movie depictions of the future, outlandish tales of future civilizations never to be, and just throw in there "it is 2020, and baseball is only played in and around Phoenix, Arizona"
This may be what we're looking at. The feasible plan to start up the MLB season in 2020 would be to bring all the teams and players to the Phoenix metropolitan area, use the rampant amount of Spring Training facilities and stadiums therein to put on 15 games a day there, and start up the MLB season in one area that's been largely unaffected by the virus. This is a start.
There are still a few factors that may curtail this plan, like the fact that they want things to get started by May, and we're not entirely sure if everything will be up and running by that time. Also, how sure are they that Arizona will remain untouched in a month's time? Did McCain's last legislature there include installing an anti-virus bubble all over the state? If so, why didn't Jersey get one of those? Or any other state in that matter?
But the biggest factor here, if everything does end up happening in Phoenix, is how will the other 29 teams do without their homefield advantage. I think about teams like the Cardinals, who don't allow many home runs because of Busch Stadium, or the Red Sox, who usually have that left field wall to worry about, or the Rockies, who are used to different air quality to propel home run balls. How will they do in a neutralized, standardized place of play? I equate this to something like the Olympics or the World Cup- how do all these other great teams do on an even playing field, in a stadium they don't know? And that factor might lead to some very interesting statistical possibilities.
If this happens, I'd keep an eye on Jon Gray. The only thing that has prevented him from being an elite pitcher in the last few years has been the Coors-Field-ness of it all. I wonder how he's gonna do in a neutral stadium, with a balanced quality. I wonder how everyone else is going to do.
Again, not sure if this WILL happen, but it's an intriguing likely idea that could end up being how the 2020 MLB season begins.