A new report claims that a second take at Major League Baseball's spring training may be a little more than a month away, with the season starting at the beginning of July.
The future of baseball this season has been a matter of speculation in recent weeks, with reports claiming that MLB has considered a number of options to bring the sport back amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. A new report from former MLB player turned podcast host Trevor Plouffe said that the start could be coming in a little over a month.
"Want some good baseball news?? I just heard from multiple sources that on June 10th, Spring Training 2 will start," he tweeted. "July 1st will be Opening Day and all teams will be playing at their home ballparks."
The league suspended spring training in March amid the initial outbreak of coronavirus, following the NBA in postponing its own season. There is no official plan forward, though reports have indicated that MLB has been considering several options to start the year and has been actively working on plans to bring the sport back.
Plouffe's projection of a July 1 start date would be more aggressive than previous reports, which noted that the uncertainty of when states could reopen may mean a start later in the summer. Initial reports had also suggested that the league may bring all teams to centralized locations, potentially in existing spring training facilities in Arizona or Florida.
But a report this week from Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times said that MLB officials are now preferring a plan to restart the season in June or July, with as many teams as possible playing in their home stadiums. The season would be shortened, potentially cut down to 80 games, but that plan would allow it to look more like a regular MLB season than one with players sequestered in specific locations."The Arizona scenario, in which all players and staff would essentially live and play in a colonized bubble, is much less likely," Topkin wrote. "So, too, is having all teams play at spring sites and compete in Cactus and Grapefruit leagues."
Reports have indicated that games are likely to be played without fans in the stands, and some teams may need to find contingency plans depending on when their states are ready to reopen. Travel could also be affected depending on what restrictions remain in place.