Baseball teams could train at their home ballparks in preparation for regular-season games should play resume, according to a report.
The new proposal for MLB, which recent reports suggest has been gearing up to resume its season as some states and cities have eased lockdown restrictions, would have players getting in shape in their local markets rather than their traditional sites in Florida and Arizona, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
The proposal was devised as a cost-cutting measure, the report said, so teams won't have to pay per diems and other expenses associated with providing for players and staff at a spring complex. It would also save travel time and associated logistical considerations since many players live in the cities where they play.
Nightengale's report and a separate news article published by the New York Daily News both say MLB spoke with its umpires this week about the parameters of a possible return, further hinting that play could resume soon. Those discussions included salary considerations, as well as the terms of what would be expected of the umpires if they were to partake in a "biosphere" scenario.
However, the revised Spring Training plan raises a lot of practical questions -- most obviously, what about teams like the Yankees and Mets, who play in cities hit hard by the pandemic.
The Yankees appear to have a different plan, according to the Daily News. They've told staff at their Spring Training complex in Tampa, Florida, to expect the arrival of "some" players as early as next week. Whether that means the Yankees are planning on training entirely in Tampa, or potentially in both cities, was unclear.
The MLB season was derailed by the public health crisis, along with the rest of the sports world and many other sectors of social and business life, about two weeks prior to Opening Day.