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Shortened Season Newsbeat

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Call to arms: Compressed schedule could mean more pitchers

NEW YORK (AP) — When and if opening day comes around this year, New York Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake anticipates a brimming bullpen.

Major League Baseball and the players’ association have talked about a compressed schedule to get in as many games as possible. That will set off a call to arms.

“I think if you have 15 guys it gives you some depth,” Blake said Wednesday.

Active rosters were to expand from 25 to 26 from opening day through Aug. 31 in exchange for the limit dropping from 40 to 28 from Sept. 1 on. When a strike delayed the start of the 1995 season until April 25, teams were allowed 28 players through May 15.

And, should things end up poorly for a good hunk of the pitchers, A Farewell to Arms.

 

QLE Posted: April 02, 2020 at 01:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pitching, shortened season

MLB reportedly discussing a 100-game season that would include a neutral-site World Series at Dodger

The COVID-19 pandemic has the sports world on hold. We have no idea when and *if* there will be professional sports in 2020. The MLB season was supposed to begin last Thursday, and there’s no way they will be able to play close to 162 games with the way things are going.

At this rate, a best-case scenario would seem to involve the MLB season starting in late June or early July, and having roughly 100 games (keep in mind a ramp-up period/second spring training that will be needed too; it’s not like things clear up with COVID-19 and the regular-season MLB games can immediately start).

Well, 670 The Score’s Matt Spiegel reports that, according to “a well informed source that does business with multiple MLB execs,” MLB is discussing the idea of a 100-game season that would feature a neutral-site World Series at Dodger Stadium. The 2020 All-Star Game was to be held at Dodger Stadium, but it’s extremely unlikely that there’s time for an exhibition game in the middle of a shortened season that will already have enough scheduling concerns. So, while they will (almost surely) not host an All-Star Game, Los Angeles would at least host the World Series “as compensation.”

Spiegel adds that the 100-game season would begin July 1, and conclude October 15. The regular season finishing more than two weeks later than originally planned (currently scheduled to end Sept. 27) is why a warm-weather location would be good for the World Series; the Fall Classic would go well into November.

Compensation for the viewers: I’ll take the World Series being at Dodger Stadium if Jon Miller gets to call the World Series. Deal?

 

QLE Posted: April 02, 2020 at 01:29 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: dodger stadium, neutral site games, shortened season

Monday, March 30, 2020

If 2020 season is cancelled, which teams would be hurt the most?

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently expressed his optimistic outlook, saying that he hoped the league would begin “gearing back up” in May. That would put a regular season return potentially at the end of June or at some point in July. He expressed that the league may have to get creative, likely referring to ideas like playing doubleheaders, extending the season deep into fall, and playing some games at neutral parks in warm-weather areas.

Manfred isn’t the only one champing at the bit for a return to normalcy. President Trump recently said he wanted to “open” the economy back up by Easter, meaning that our social isolation plan could be done in two weeks. And, frankly, I’m sure many of us are starting to become a little stir-crazy as we attempt to flatten the curve.

It’s hard to imagine life returning to normal when Coronavirus (COVID-19) is really starting to spread in the United States. It would be ill-advised for us to go back to business as usual. This is a time when we need to put other interests ahead of business interests. Frankly, there’s a very real possibility that there is no MLB season in 2020. Or, at the very least, there may be a point when Manfred has to choose between starting a season or protecting the health of the players and coaches, journalists, fans, and all of the many people that would interact with them and potentially become vectors for the virus.

In the event the 2020 season is cancelled, which teams stand to lose the most? Let’s take a look at some contenders.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 30, 2020 at 01:23 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cancellations, dodgers, phillies, reds, shortened season, what if

Friday, March 27, 2020

MLB, players agree to $170M deal on early season pay, cut down draft

Major League Baseball and the players association have reached a tentative agreement regarding several issues surrounding a potentially shortened or canceled season, sources confirm to Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported the deal Thursday night.

MLB owners have agreed to advance players portions of salaries to be spread out over April and May. If there is no season, that money will be kept by the players. Each of the 30 teams will contribute just short of $95,000 per day to eligible players for 60 days or until start of 2020 season, not to exceed $170 million. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal adds that salaries will be pro-rated based on length of season, and players have agreed not to sue for full salaries.

As previously reported, the players would accrue a full year of service time if they are active for the shortened season. If the season is canceled, players would gain the same amount of service time they accrued in 2019, which is important because it means players like Mookie Betts or Trevor Bauer would become free agents as scheduled.

 

QLE Posted: March 27, 2020 at 12:49 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: draft, free agency, labor issues, negotiations, salaries, service time, shortened season

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Baseball brainstorm: Brackets? 7-inning games? How MLB could experiment in a short season

The fate of Major League Baseball’s 2020 season is up in the air as the world reels from the coronavirus pandemic. At the very least, its form will have to be altered.

That is not what anyone wished for, but if public health eventually stabilizes enough to allow for sporting events, an unusual season could carry a small opportunity for America’s most tradition-bound game. The baseball world is constantly obsessing over the tug of war between adaptation to the contemporary entertainment environment and adherence to the rules, numbers and structures that, over more than a century, have created a rich framework around the sport. A season that is already inherently different is a chance to float a trial balloon, to see how different the sport can be before we denounce it as too different. (When the NBA began a lockout-shortened year on Christmas Day, for instance, many were convinced every season should start on Dec. 25.)

So, we assembled the Yahoo Sports baseball staff in Slack, put the more pressing pandemic-related questions to the side for a moment, and took to the whiteboard, so to speak: What experiments could baseball run in 2020 that might stick around?

So, how would you handle such matters?

QLE Posted: March 26, 2020 at 12:46 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, brackets, seven-inning games, shortened season

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How Much Do the Playoff Odds Change in a Shorter Season?

Will there be a 2020 baseball season? How many games will teams play? What will that mean for the 2020 baseball season? Normally, these would be extremely upsetting questions to contemplate; in the world in which we’re currently living, they’re somewhere around the 75,000th most important quandaries facing us. But as someone qualified to serve as a baseball writer rather than an epidemiologist, they’re also the kinds of questions I can actually seek to answer, and the differences between how baseball will eventually look versus what we’re used to are bigger than you might think. Assuming we have a season, that is; if no games are played, the projections will be 100% accurate.

So how much do the playoff races change in a shorter season? To answer this, I spent the weekend reconfiguring ZiPS so that it wouldn’t assume a 162-game season — an eventuality I had hoped not to have to deal with unless or until there was a strike — allowing me to run playoff probabilities for seasons of any length. Let’s start with the baseline projections, how ZiPS saw the races before the world turned upside down

....

There are no COVID-19-based changes in here, just the projection based on if the world had frozen in place two weeks ago and everything happened as we would normally expect. But let’s assume we hit one of the better-case scenarios, get a quickie two weeks of “spring training” in late May, and start the season on June 1. Let’s further assume that, with MLB having a vested interest in playing as many games as possible without killing people, they come to an agreement to play the playoffs in neutral warm-weather cities throughout November, giving the league an extra month to play regular-season games. Under this scenario, the league could theoretically fit somewhere around 140 games in. How do great teams look in a 140-game season instead of a 162-game one? Let’s run the numbers.

Before we do, keep in mind that there’s no adjustment made in the below numbers for, say, James Paxton and Aaron Judge being healthy. We’re just trying to gauge how much things change based only on season length

Jim Mora has some thoughts on this topic….

 

QLE Posted: March 18, 2020 at 01:00 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: odds, playoffs, shortened season

 

 

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