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Report: The Radical Relaunch Plan Major League Baseball Officials Are Discussing
Mike Carpino from Boston Red Sox security leaves the Red Sox bullpen at Fenway Park on April 16, 2020. Fenway Park in Boston remains closed during the coronavirus emergency. (Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

According to a new report, Major League Baseball officials are “cautiously optimistic” that the league will reopen “no later than July 2” and are discussing the possibility of a rather radical relaunch plan that includes realigning teams into three 10-team divisions and playing a season of “at least 100 games” – likely without fans.

“Major League Baseball officials have become cautiously optimistic this week that the season will start in late June, and no later than July 2, playing at least 100 regular-season games, according to three executives with knowledge of the talks,” USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale reported Tuesday, noting that the league officials requested anonymity.

While the league plans to play in their own ballparks in order to cut down on travel, they expect that they’ll do so “with no fans,” Nightengale writes. The plan, which Nightengale says is pending approval from medical officials, would require that COVID-19 testing is available to the broader public.

The curtailed season may include three new divisions made up of 10 realigned teams. Nightengale presents the following “possible realignment structure”:

EAST New York Yankees and Mets, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins

WEST — Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners

CENTRAL — Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers

While league officials are reportedly hashing out their three-division relaunch plan, as reported by ESPN, the league’s chief medical officer, along with those from other major sports leagues, participated in a call on Tuesday with White House Coronavirus Task Force member Seema Verma, an administrator for the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, to discuss their role in reopening the country.

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