Dodgers push back against plan to play MLB playoffs in bubble

With Major League Baseball’s proposed plans of playing the 2020 postseason in a controlled bubble environment, at least one team has taken issue with the protocols regarding players’ families.

According to The Athletic, a handful of Dodgers players are citing their own diligence in observing the game’s health and safety protocols as to why their families shouldn’t have to enter a seven-day quarantine if they wish to join the players in the bubble. The Dodgers have avoided coronavirus cases during Spring Training 2.0 and the abbreviated 60-game season, with the last positive test coming at the start of intake testing.

The league says it plans to take every precaution against contaminating the bubbles. Families would have to quarantine for the known incubation period of four to five days from exposure to the onset of symptoms, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dodgers’ union representative Justin Turner, and other Los Angeles players, have been pretty vocal against the proposed separations from their families, according to The Athletic.

“You’re asking us to choose between our families and the playoffs?” said Turner, per The Athletic. “That’s a stupid question, especially when we’ve played however many successful games this season. Obviously, there were two blips early on [outbreaks with the Marlins and Cardinals] but it was out of poor choices by individuals. Other than that, it has been a pretty successful season. Why change all the protocols now?”

Not all MLB teams are as opposed as the Dodgers, according to the report. There have been ongoing discussions between the league and the union on the matter, but the biggest question remains to be how the families would enter the bubbles.

Joc Pederson and Justin TurnerGetty Images

MLB has turned to a bubble over fears of another outbreak similar to the ones the Marlins and Cardinals experienced earlier this season, which might disrupt the already-tight playoff schedule in October.

Should players agree to the proposed lockdowns for the families, per The Athletic’s report, the league would go ahead with its preference for the new best-of-three, wild-card round to take place in the home parks of the higher seeds. Teams would then move into bubbles at neutral sites in southern California and Texas for the Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series.

MLB wants players to accept the same seven-day isolation periods for their families that the NBA and NHL players did before resuming their seasons in bubbles, but Turner pointed to the fact that those two other leagues were in bubbles from the start, while MLB teams have already completed a regular season in home and away ballparks.

Turner also noted that players have had the option during the season of their families joining them on the road without quarantining first. The Dodgers players prohibited their families from flying commercial, but allowed them to drive and meet them or fly privately.

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