MINNEAPOLIS — Major League Baseball playoffs are just two weeks away, and final plans for a postseason bubble situation that players don’t feel is necessary still aren’t set.
There are the problems.
MLB has tentative plans to place the final four American League teams left standing in the postseason in California and the final four National League teams in Texas. The idea is to give the league the best chance to get through the playoffs without any COVID-19 related interruptions. But when you’re a team like the Twins, who haven’t had a positive coronavirus test since games began this summer, those measures seem unnecessary.
“We’ve proven ourselves compliant thus far,” said Twins closer Taylor Rogers, who serves as the team’s union rep. “I think we’ve proven we can be adults about this season.”
Rogers noted that back in June, when the conditions for this season were being negotiated, there was no mention of a postseason bubble. There was talk of a neutral site as an insurance policy, but that was it. Now, it’s essentially being imposed on players at the last minute, with no firm agreement in place.
“We’re not very happy with it,” Rogers said. “We’re not alone in this stance. We’ve not heard of one team who’s happy with this.”
Family members wishing to join players in respective bubbles would need to quarantine for a week ahead of time. Players are “scared” of being in lockdown when their kids have needs that have to be fulfilled.
And there’s concern about going to California considering how that state has been affected by wildfire. And, if extensive quarantining ahead of bubble entry is mandated, how does that affect the Twins, who headed out Sunday night for a week-long road trip in Chicago? Rogers said originally, Major League Baseball wanted the Twins to start going on quaratine during that road trip. Players who live in the Twin Cities only during the season may be left scrambling to figure out living situations.
The idea of the bubble, per Rogers, was first sprung on the Twins on Aug. 26, and has only been met with raised eyebrows.
“Right now, we just want answers from MLB. Something we can do,” Rogers said. “Because it’s time sensitive. We leave on the road today, so we’re all a little frustrated. … We weren’t told early enough.”
Now they face the possibility of returning home to a pseudo bubble in Minneapolis next week, without an opportunity to prepare for that. All of this uncertainty comes at a time when the Twins are in the heart of their schedule, with much on the line.
“We have guys worried about the outside noise, about what they’re going to be having to do. It’s very frustrating,” Rogers said during his nine-minute press conference Sunday morning.
"See, look, this is the problem right here, guys,” he said to reporters. “We didn’t even talk about baseball.”