Will Marlins, D-Backs, and Rays play road games this season?
Assuming the Cactus-Grapefruit Plan is adopted though, there’s one more big geography-related question to consider. Would the Miami Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Tampa Bay Rays ever actually play a true road game in 2020?
Obviously, this question still exists for the D-Backs if the Phoenix-only version gets the go-ahead. But let’s go with the scenario that covers the most ground for the impacted clubs.
Firstly, while all teams are used to spending a month at their respective spring training sites, only three are there 24/7/365. Even if home is a hotel and fans aren’t present, it’s hard to deny a natural home-field advantage existing for the Arizona and Florida MLB franchises.
And what if fans, likely a reduced number, are reintroduced at some point?
It’s not impossible seeing that happening before teams are allowed to fly all over the country again. If so, the advantage is enormous for these three. Especially Arizona. The Marlins and Rays split a state, whereas the Diamondbacks would play every game in their own city.
Secondly, where exactly would home be for these teams?
Would the Arizona Diamondbacks, Miami Marlins, and Tampa Bay Rays get to call their MLB stadium home field? Or would Chase Field, Marlins Park, and Tropicana Field be reserved by MLB for doubleheaders and marquee matchups? Consequently, forcing thee three teams to use their spring training site as their home base?
That would be a tough pill for Arizona and Miami to swallow, seeing as how they actually share spring sites with Colorado and St. Louis respectively.