Nightengale: MLB Postseason Could Last Past Thanksgiving

The 2020 MLB season, if it happens, could be unlike anything baseball has ever seen

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
May 04, 2020 - 10:04 am
2019 World Series

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It remains to be seen when, or if, baseball will return this year, but the league is hopeful that it will be back on the field sooner rather than later.

“They’re trying different ideas, they’re getting encouraged by government officials, health officials, and are keeping their fingers crossed that they could open up in late-June or early July,” USA Today MLB insider Bob Nightengale said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “They’re doing everything possible to try to get baseball back.”

MLB floated the idea of playing the entire season in Arizona, but Nightengale believes that proposal is off the table.

“I think that one’s dead,” he said. “Too many players didn’t want to do it. They didn’t want to be separated from their families. They said, ‘We’re not going to war. We’re just playing baseball.’ They didn’t want to do it. There was a whole lot of brushback from the players.”

Another option advocates for alignment – three divisions of 10 – with expanded playoffs.

“It’s plausible,” Nightengale said. “I just think when push comes to shove, they go back to the original schedule and then play just like it’s a normal division. But they would change it up in the sense where [with] interleague play, you would strictly play only teams in your time zone. . . . So it would be the AL East versus the NL East, the AL Central versus the NL Central – that sort of thing. But you still play limited games and go from there.”

While the regular season will look different, the postseason likely would as well.

“I think they’re going to do expanded playoffs, maybe something different like the NCAA Baseball Tournament does with double elimination,” Nightengale said. “So they’re trying all kinds of different ideas postseason-wise, and it really would go all the way through Thanksgiving weekend playing postseason baseball.”