By Sam Bush
The Phillies and the rest of MLB have been benched for about a month thanks to the coronavirus, with no start to the season in sight.
So, how’s this for an idea, courtesy of the brainiacs who run the sport, courtesy of USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:
How about the New York Yankees and Phillies being divisional rivals for the season?
Or the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves?
And the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians?
Major League Baseball, assessing myriad proposals, has discussed a radical plan that would eliminate the traditional American and National Leagues for 2020, a high-ranking official told USA TODAY Sports, and realign all six divisions for an abbreviated season.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the proposal is one of several being discussed.
The plan would have all 30 teams returning to their spring training sites in Florida and Arizona, playing regular-season games only in those two states and without fans in an effort to reduce travel and minimize risks in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The divisions would be realigned based on the geography of their spring training homes.
Here’s a look at one realignment structure:
- NORTH: New York Yankees, Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates.
- SOUTH: Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles.
- EAST: Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins.
- NORTHEAST: Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics.
- WEST: Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels.
- NORTHWEST: Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals.