St. Louis Cardinals baseball in May? Is this a pipe dream or realistic?

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 25: Rangel Ravelo #47 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on as the Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher warms up for the MLB game at Chase Field on September 25, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 25: Rangel Ravelo #47 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on as the Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher warms up for the MLB game at Chase Field on September 25, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

After speculation began yesterday, it has come out that there is a true plan for the St. Louis Cardinals and the rest of the MLB to play in Arizona in May. Is this actually possible?

Yesterday, the only proof that we had that the St. Louis Cardinals could be playing in Arizona was a tweet from Barstool. On Tuesday, we have a confirmed report, along with a timeline.

If you didn’t see this post yesterday, Andy Heckroth speculated about a possible season opening in strictly Arizona spring training parks as well as at Chase Field, home of the Diamondbacks. The basis for the speculation was this tweet.

Today, all the speculation isn’t necessary. The MLB is looking to play games in Arizona, maybe even as soon as May.

There are a lot of possible outcomes to discuss here as an undertaking of this size, in such a short amount of time, would be very difficult to pull off.

There are a lot of things included in here, from having to basically quarantine an entire city, to isolating players, and not using the dugouts. Of course, there would be no fans in attendance, so the MLB would require that the players sit in the stands, six feet apart. The idea of this seems funny, but it would keep the social distancing mandate.

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Why Arizona? As Ronald Blum writes in the above article, “half of the MLB” holds their spring training there already and there are “10 spring training ballparks plus the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field all within about 50 miles. Florida’s spring training ballparks are spread out by as much as 220 miles.”

Jeff Passan of ESPN weighed in with his take here, adding that “Players, coaching staffs and other essential personnel would be sequestered at local hotels, where they would live in relative isolation and travel only to and from the stadium.” And here is where everything starts to fall apart.

How will players, coaches, and everyone else enjoy living in isolation for the duration of the MLB season, or until everything opens back up? I believe Jeff Jones said put it extremely well in this thread.

If you view the entire thread, you will see how many holes this plan has in it. The biggest one is ensuring that not one player on any team breaks quarantine. The other big concerns include the media and how they are expected to continue their coverage under these circumstances as well as whether or not these spring facilities have the room to house all these players at once.

One thing is clear, full buy-in would be absolutely necessary from players to make this happen. If it’s any consolation on that front, Harrison Bader seems to be for it.

The Players Union would definitely have to agree to this sort of playing structure, but from what the MLB has said it’s necessary requirements are to start the season, this apparently fits.

As they should, the MLB won’t start the season without the approval of federal health officials.

This morning on KMOX, Tom Ackerman did a fantastic job of breaking the plan down and as he notes, it has the necessary approval for what would fit under the MLB’s own guidelines for returning to play.

If you happened to scroll through Twitter this morning as this story came out, the general response was that this was a pipe dream that would be idiotic and impossible even if they got it to work.

Always the smart business, the MLB quickly released a statement to attempt to counter the backlash.

So it is clear, this plan is one that is on the table, and it’s one that right away fits what the MLB desires as far as conditions to start the season. Feasiblity and player agreement are still way up in the air, but if the timeline on this plan is set as quickly as the end of May, my first response would be all for it.

Baseball is baseball, and from the fan’s perspective, we have no right to be angry about this plan if the players and the MLB are able to figure out all of the logistics. Chances are, no matter where the team plays this season, fans won’t be at games for months. In the meantime, who cares what area or stadium the games are played in.

dark. Next. What if this is it for Molina, Wainwright?

This likely leans more towards pipe dream than anything else, but if all the necessary factors are worked out, this plan could be viable for the season to begin. There are a ton of hurdles, but if all sides agree, I don’t think any fans would complain about baseball ramping up again in May.