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What I Learned – MLB playoff bubbles: League announces postseason neutral site locations

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY SportsMajor League Baseball announced the locations that will host the 2020 postseason on Tuesday, featuring neutral-site bubbles for the Division Series, League Championship Series and World Series. The league and MLB Players Association agreed on the plan late Monday night, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Neutral sites will be utilized beginning with the best-of-five Division Series. The American League Division Series will take place at Petco Park in San Diego, Calif. and Dodger Stadium at Los Angeles, Calif. The National League Division Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. The higher AL seed will be in San Diego, while the higher NL seed will be in Arlington.The best-of-seven AL Championship Series will take place at Petco Park. Globe Life Field will be home to the NL Championship Series and World Series, which is slated to begin on Oct. 20. The 16-team expanded playoff field will begin the postseason on Sept. 29 with a best-of-three Wild Card series. The matchups will take place in the home ballpark of the higher-seeded team in the series rather than a bubble environment. One element of the postseason plan that was reportedly important to the MLBPA was the ability to interact with family during the playoffs. According to Rosenthal, families will be allowed to quarantine with players for a week leading into the Division Series and will remain together throughout their playoff run. Families who choose to quarantine will be considered part of the bubble and everyone inside it will be tested daily, per ESPN.MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has said he hopes to have limited fan capacity during the playoffs with social distancing and other forms of protection. All ballparks have remained fanless during the regular season. The league’s plan mirrors that of the NBA and NHL, who have both conducted their playoffs in bubble environments. MLB has dealt with positive tests among teams during its shortened 60-game regular season at ballparks with regional-based matchups, which altered many teams’ schedules. 

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