Chicago Cubs' first baseman Anthony Rizzo wants to play the 2020 season as much as anyone, but he has some concerns about what a late start means. More specifically, he talked on Friday about what a season that goes into November or December means for the 2021 season.
Mike Chiari of Bleacher Report noted that Rizzo talked to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic late last week and explained his thoughts about potential plans MLB has for jumpstarting the season. The Cubs' star said he liked the idea of playing the first six weeks of the season in Arizona.
He also said he's a bit nervous about the plan after those first six weeks.
"Six weeks, I think that can work. It's just the logistics of it. Hotel workers and grounds crew and cameramen.... It can be pulled off. I think it could. But health and salaries, how do you work through all that? They can't pay us full pay, right? Then playing into November, December, you're jeopardizing getting ready for next season."
Rizzo added he didn't want to jeopardize two years of baseball. He said that was "the hard part."
Rizzo and his teammates were supposed to kick off the season on March 26. In a normal year, they'd be starting their run for a potential pennant. The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a shutdown to all professional sports, and has forced leagues like MLB to try and figure out how they can play the 2020 season.So far, there have been several ideas floated, which have spanned from playing every game in Arizona to playing in Japan. There hasn't been a consensus on which suggestion is the best or most plausible.
While Rizzo likes the idea of starting the season in Arizona, he doesn't support playing the whole season there. His issue with doing the entire 2020 campaign at spring training sites is there was no guarantee he'd be able to see his family.
Another plan that has the same negatives is to play all the games in Arizona and Florida, and realigning the leagues for one year. Rizzo wasn't excited about doing everything in two states for the same reason he doesn't like playing all of 2020 in Arizona.
Rizzo and other players have also pointed to what playing a season in one or two locations would do to support staff. President Donald Trump has announced a three-phase plan to reopen America that is geared toward letting states determine when they start to go back to normal. Major League Baseball might let that plan determine how it comes back this year.