Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association continue to have discussions about getting the 2020 season underway, even if it means having teams like the New York Yankees play at a neutral site.
The 2020 season would be entering its second full week if not for the coronavirus pandemic shutting things down around the world. As much as fans are eager to see the sports world return to normal, so too are the players. MLB and the MLBPA have been engaged in ongoing discussions about how and when that will happen.
Yankees reliever Zack Britton appeared on MLB Network Radio on Thursday, offering up some insight into those conversations. According to Britton, those discussions have included the possibility of having teams play at “four or five” neutral sites. Considering how heavily impacted New York is by the pandemic, the Yankees could be a prime candidate to be one of those teams.
"We could possibly be a team that needs to play in a neutral site for a little while, because New York’s been such a hot bed for this, and guys are open to that. I know there are sites they’ve already discussed — I’m not sure if I should even say this publicly, but there are four or five sites."
It stands to reason that playing games in a less heavily impacted area could be an option. There are numerous factors that will need to be considered here, however. New York is one of the areas within the United States that has been the most heavily impacted so far, but they were also one of the first to see the virus have an impact. Some less populated cities might have been exposed at a later date, but that doesn’t necessarily make them safer. It remains far too unclear when this will all be over to commit to any plans with certainty.
Britton doesn’t comment on any specific locations during the interview, which stands to reason. As he points out, these would need to be facilities that have the resources and hotels available to host a major league team.
While MLB and the MLBPA continue to discuss options, it is becoming increasingly more likely that when games do resume they very well may be in empty stadiums, at least initially. While not ideal, it is likely an option and most would be open to if it means games start up again.