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MLB reportedly eyes new plan that calls for three divisions and an early July start

Downtown Fort Wayne, Ind., is seen from an empty Parkview Field on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Mike Nutter is surrounded by questions everywhere he goes these days. So the longtime president of the Fort Wayne TinCaps is planning for every scenario he can imagine, one at a time. While Major League Baseball tries to figure out a way to play this summer, the prospects for anything resembling a normal minor league season are looking increasingly bleak. For minor league communities across the country, looking forward to cheap hot dogs, fuzzy mascot hugs and various theme nights, it's a small slice of a depressing picture. (Mike Moore/The Journal-Gazette via AP)
Downtown Fort Wayne, Ind., is seen from an empty Parkview Field on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Mike Nutter is surrounded by questions everywhere he goes these days. So the longtime president of the Fort Wayne TinCaps is planning for every scenario he can imagine, one at a time. While Major League Baseball tries to figure out a way to play this summer, the prospects for anything resembling a normal minor league season are looking increasingly bleak. For minor league communities across the country, looking forward to cheap hot dogs, fuzzy mascot hugs and various theme nights, it's a small slice of a depressing picture. (Mike Moore/The Journal-Gazette via AP) (The_Journal_Gazette)

HOUSTON – Glance at the calendar and the month of May is about to begin on Friday. Could that signal that baseball season is around the corner?

If Major League Baseball has its way, the sounds America’s pastime could arrive by early July. That would be great news for the sports world which has been silent as precautions tied to the COVID-19 pandemic have stopped everything in the sports landscape.

In a report out Tuesday in USA Today, reporter Bob Nightengale wrote that MLB is eyeing a potential start in early July. If the plan plays out, MLB believes that teams could potentially squeeze in 100 games at sites in Arizona, Florida and Texas before eventually shifting to their actual home ballparks for games in the empty venues.

The most intriguing part of this MLB plan according to Nightengale would be the re-organization of both the American and National League divided into three separate divisions.

According to the USA Today report, the three divisions would be called the East, West and Central. The Houston Astros would fit in the West division and would be a part of a 10-team group that would include the Los Angeles Dodgers that have been vocal in their criticism of the Astros after details of their 2017 cheating scandal came to light.

The West would also include the Angels, A’s, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Rangers and the Mariners.

The East would be led by the Yankees and Red Sox and also include the Mets, Nationals, Pirates, Phillies, Blue Jays, Orioles, Marlins and the Rays.

Lastly, the Central would be made up of the Cardinals, Royals, Reds, Indians, Twins, Braves, Tigers, White Sox, Brewers and the Cubs.

For this plan to even possibly proceed, testing for the coronavirus would have to increase on a national scale. The players union would also have to agree to move forward. The union would still have questions on the setup involving long-term quarantine of up to four months and time away from their families during this period of games.