(670 The Score) Cubs outfielder Ian Happ, who serves as his team’s player representative, fully expects MLB to conduct its postseason in a bubble environment this October.
“I don’t really see a way they would not do it,” Happ said on the Dan Bernstein Show on Wednesday morning. “I think that it’s very likely that they do some sort of bubble. They want to make sure the players stay healthy.”
MLB is in the early stages of drafting a plan for a playoff bubble, according to an ESPN report. The NBA is conducting its playoffs in a bubble environment in Orlando, while the NHL is doing the same in Edmonton and Toronto. Both leagues have created a safe environment and had success so far.
Happ cited MLB’s television contract and the playoffs’ place on the calendar as additional driving forces for why the postseason will be contested in a bubble. With the NFL schedule set on FOX and the presidential election waiting on Nov. 3, MLB needs to do everything in its power to conduct its playoff games on its original schedule and not risk encountering postponements that would force an overlap with the NFL schedule or the election.
“They can’t afford a delay,” Happ said of MLB. “They can’t afford to have a team go down and not be able to play.
“It makes a lot of sense to do it. I don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like or where it’s going to be, but I think in some form of the bubble is very, very likely.”
Happ acknowledged the bubble environment would be much different for players.
“The difficulty is the logistics of families and how everything works, your loved ones, your significant others, your kids,” Happ said. “There’s a lot that I don’t know what they want to do in that sense. It can be a long road. If you’re in this all the way through, it’s four weeks. If you’re running into the regular season, it can be five or six weeks. That’s a long time to be away from the people who have supported you through what has been a very difficult and challenging road from spring training to now.”
The Cubs are 18-11 and lead the Cardinals by three games in the NL Central. The MLB playoffs have expanded to 16 teams in this truncated season.