MLB Planning for June Opening Day With Realigned League

Baseball officials are cautiously optimistic the season will start in late June

MLB opening day banner
A general view of the "Opening Day" logo on a scoreboard.
Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty
By Evan Bleier / April 29, 2020 11:49 am

This week, MLB officials have become cautiously optimistic that they’ll be able to start the baseball season in late June by splitting the league’s 30 teams into three realigned regional divisions based on geography.

“This is going to be a season like we’ve never seen,” an MLB executive told USA Today. “But that’s fine. It’s at least a season.”

Under the plan, teams would only play within their division to cut down on travel, and the traditional American and National Leagues would not exist.

For example, the New York Yankees and Mets, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins would all be members of the East division.

The drastic realignment would eliminate the need for players to be in isolation and allow teams to play at their home ballparks, albeit with no fans in attendance.

The West division would be the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.

The Central would be the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves and Detroit Tigers.

If the season doesn’t start by June, there is some confidence that Opening Day won’t be pushed back any farther than July 2. Opening Day had been scheduled for March 26.

Any plan that is put in place to start the baseball season would be subject to medical approval plus consent of federal, state and local authorities.

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