The Arizona Plan? Sure let’s play baseball in 120 degree weather and with games that start either at noon or 10PM EDT. The Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues Plan? Have you seen some of those parks? Plus it rains in Florida in the summer, a lot. Also those pesky hurricanes have a way of ruining the end of minor league seasons. I think this has happened at least three times in the past 10 years.
Here’s the Mets Today Plan: pick five of the six domed stadiums in MLB. For the sake of this article those five will be Chase Field (Arizona), Safeco Field (Seattle), Minute Maid Park (Houston), Miller Park (Milwaukee) and Marlins Stadium (Miami). Each stadium will be the site of a “division” that consists of six teams.
Details, details, but the Mets will call Miami home for the next few months and play 22 games each against their other 4 NLE opponents, plus one. For the sake of the story we can designate the Pittsburgh Pirates as that plus one. The result is a legion ball-style tournament that goes on all summer. Three games per day, all played under a roof in air-conditioned comfort for the players. If the weather is nice in Miami or Phoenix, or Seattle, or Houston, or Milwaukee, the roof can be opened. No fans, at least in the beginning. Maybe later in the season 10,000 tickets are made available (more than what the Marlins will usually draw). Other social distancing “suggestions” will apply. Each team has 11 home games agains divisional opponents
There will be five division winners, plus one wild card. The one with the best record draws the wild card team, while the other four square off. At the conclusion of these best of five series, the seeds are restructured with the team with the best record drawing a bye, while the other two go head to head in a best of three. The survivor plays the bye team in a World Series.
Having observed lots of baseball tournaments in my day, this neutral site round robin format could work. There is no perfect solution but I think this one covers most of the major issues (weather, game start times, enough games to make a “legit” season). I would love nothing better than to see baseball again this summer played at Citi Field with GKR calling the games, but I think that we need to be realistic.