Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Tampa Bay Rays have received permission from Major League Baseball to explore a two-city plan in which they would play the first half of the season in St. Petersburg, Fla. and the second half in Montreal.

Be smart: Like self-driving vehicles and colonizing Mars, this international timeshare idea is certainly fun to think about. Sadly, there's almost no chance that it actually comes to fruition.

What they're saying:

  • "The news definitely surprised me," Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier told The Athletic. "We were talking on the bus today — it's weird to think about splitting games."
  • "Love it. Wouldn't it be kind of cool? Let's do a little 'European Vacation' in the middle of the summer, head north of the border," said former Rays manager Joe Maddon, before adding that he couldn't see this actually happening.

What we have here is a classic game of chicken: The Rays are trying to scare St. Petersburg into ponying up for a new stadium. But Mayor Rick Kriseman has already called their bluff, effectively closing the book on this until 2028, when the Rays' lease is up.

Between the lines: Consider all the challenges associated with a two-city agreement. How do you attract free agents when they know they won't be able to settle down in one city? Which city hosts the playoff games? How would broadcast rights work? The logistics would be insane.

Go deeper: What MLB expansion might look like

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 21,295,429 — Total deaths: 767,714— Total recoveries: 13,295,750Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,345,610 — Total deaths: 169,146 — Total recoveries: 1,796,326 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: The coronavirus-connected heart ailment that could lead to sudden death in athletes — Patients grow more open with their health data during pandemic — FDA issues emergency use authorization for Yale's saliva coronavirus test.
  4. Education: "Historic" laptop demand leads to shortages ahead of remote school — Why learning pods aren't a panacea for remote learning — The COVID-19 learning cliff.
  5. States: New York to reopen gyms, bowling alleys, museums.
  6. Podcasts: The rise of learning podsSpecial ed under pressure — Not enough laptops — The loss of learning.

The COVID-19 learning cliff

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Perhaps the most jarring reality of the COVID-19 pandemic for families has been the sudden and dramatic disruption to all levels of education, which is expected to have deep social and economic repercussions for years — if not decades — to come.

Why it matters: As millions of students are about to start the school year virtually, at least in part, experts fear students may fall off an educational cliff — missing key academic milestones, falling behind grade level and in some cases dropping out of the educational system altogether.

Postal slowdown threatens election breakdown

In 24 hours, signs of a pre-election postal slowdown have moved from the shadows to the spotlight, with evidence emerging all over the country that this isn't a just a potential threat, but is happening before our eyes.

Why it matters: If you're the Trump administration, and you're in charge of the federal government, remember that a Pew poll published in April found the Postal Service was viewed favorably by 91% of Americans.