With the Major League Baseball season in an indefinite holding pattern due to the coronavirus pandemic and the earliest regular season start date May 10, the league and MLBPA have been discussing potential scenarios for how things might look if/when the season gets underway.
According to major league sources, MLB is determined to salvage some sort of baseball in 2020, and is still figuring out how that will look, SNY's Andy Martino reported on Tuesday.
Per Martino, a "significantly shortened season and expanded postseason" are both possibilities, and "perhaps likelihoods."
However, Martino notes that the primary thing to understand is that while MLB and the Players Association are discussing these ideas, they are guessing along with the rest of the world about when any of us can return to our lives.
As of Wednesday morning, with many major U.S. cities under various forms of lockdown while social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, there were 55,238 confirmed cases in the country (including 802 deaths), with 15,597 cases (including 192 deaths) in New York City alone.
Jeff Passan of ESPN reported early Wednesday that among the options the league and players are considering is the potential of having games in front of no fans and having games at neutral sites, with the potential that "teams in metropolitan areas with the highest prevalence of COVID-19" play games at spring training facilities if "outbreaks aren't quelled."
Additionally, Passan reports that MLB and the MLBPA are hoping early-June could be the potential starting point of the season, which would potentially happen after a very shortened second spring training of sorts -- and could also contain "as many as two" doubleheaders per week to help make up lost games.
Passan also reported that the league and players are in agreement that regular season games could spill into October, with playoff games potentially played at neutral sites, in warm-weather cities, and/or at ballparks with domes.
What a severely shortened season would look like for the Mets and the rest of the league remains to be seen, but it's fair to believe that the entire original 162-game schedule will have to be re-worked in order for the league to create a balanced schedule to fit into however many games may be played. In other words, it doesn't seem likely that they'll simply pick up at whatever date/game in the original schedule they resume on.
For the Mets, who play their home games in a cold-weather city, it's hard to see them hosting potential playoff games at Citi Field throughout November.
But an expanded postseason could potentially be a plus for the Mets -- and the rest of the teams in the NL East -- with the Mets, Braves, Nationals, and Phillies all expected to contend.