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Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Let’s Construct the MLB Season We Actually Want to See

The only thing we know for sure about the 2020 MLB schedule (brought to you by COVID-19) is that it won’t be 162 games. Whatever truncated mutant of a year baseball ends up with will likely be the shortest on record since at least 1994, when most teams got about 70% of the way through the calendar before the strike happened and canceled the rest. Given the current state of things in the United States — with coronavirus still rampant and several states and cities already issuing stay-at-home orders that will run through most of May — it’s unlikely we’ll get even that much of the season played. But no one knows for sure: MLB, like the rest of us, is at the mercy of a virus and its containment measures. Rumors of a 100-game season chock full of doubleheaders played in empty stadiums and a southern California World Series are nothing more than thin gristle to chew on while we wait for more substantive news.

Without a doubt, there are meetings happening in MLB’s now-virtual offices to try to plan for the future. Aside from Rob Manfred timing these Zoom get-togethers and demanding precious minutes be shaved off them, we can’t know for sure what’s being discussed, but how to cram as much of a baseball season as possible into an ever-shrinking window is likely top of the action list. Every day lost further complicates that endeavor, though, as does the fact that MLB’s normal schedule is already a wobbly Jenga tower of unequal matchups and cross-country travel. Like Tetris, every block has to fit into just the right place, or else it all piles up into disaster. Being an outdoor sport in a Northern Hemisphere continent already imposes hard limitations on how far into the year baseball can extend; losing warm-weather months makes it all the tougher.

But amid the carnage and chaos of how to fit too much baseball into too little time, there’s an opportunity for MLB to do something different, if not revolutionary. The sport has long been locked into the construct that is 162 games; now it’s being forced out of that comfort zone. Let’s use this space, then, to get weird, or maybe even find a better way to be. And how would that be, you may be saying to yourself. I’m glad you asked.

A few thoughts involving planning for the potential season ahead.

QLE Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:15 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: march madness, match-ups, seasons, tanking

 

 

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