MLB’s post-coronavirus plans may be taking another twist.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, citing four anonymous team executives, reported Thursday that teams could end up training in their home parks prior to the start of the season. The main motivation for doing that is to reduce travel and lodging costs while clubs continue to go without revenue, the executives told Nightengale, but it also could hasten the season’s opening as teams would not need to “come north” from spring training to begin play.
No decisions have been made, the sources told Nightengale.
Workouts in home stadiums carry at least two large drawbacks, as the executives told Nightengale:
— There will be few opportunities for exhibitions. Intrasquad games may be the only real option.
— There will be just one main field for workouts rather than the multiple fields available at spring training sites.
Teams will likely be given three weeks to conduct Spring Training 2.0 wherever they train.
It should not be a surprise that baseball’s preparations for a 2020 season remain unsettled. MLB reportedly has considered playing its season in Arizona; playing in hub cities; playing at spring training sites; and, most recently, playing in home stadiums.