Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher

Syndicate

Szymborski Newsbeat

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Embrace the Weirdness: Five Ways to Make a 2020 Season Compelling

The 2020 season will be unlike any other we’ve seen before. Indeed, there may not even be a season. The COVID-19 pandemic has already altered baseball to an even greater degree than the World Wars did. While finding a way to resume play has become a rare point of common interest for MLB and the MLBPA, a contagious illness that spreads easily and is more dangerous than the seasonal flu presents a whole host of problems that need to be solved before a new Opening Day can be announced. Do you quarantine players? How long do you play without fans? What happens if a player tests positive in mid-August?

But let’s assume for a moment that the IHME model is on target. The model predicts that if we can keep up our current social distancing efforts (and the straggler states join in), the worst effects of the virus will be behind us by early-to-mid June. The return of baseball would be a welcome symbol of normalcy, and a baseball season that starts in July could largely be played without too many compromises other than the number of games. But I think it would be a mistake for baseball to just go back to the regular structure. The game will be returning against the backdrop of an international tragedy. In this dark time, baseball should focus on the enjoyable parts of the sport, even if things get a little…weird. 2021 can return to normal business, but let’s make 2020 fun.

United we stand, divided we Fall…Classic
Divisions have been a part of baseball for a half-century — even longer if you consider leagues to be de facto divisions. They’re a convenient way to group teams engaged in competition for playoff spots and to create additional meaningful races beyond simple seeding. But one of the problems with divisions is they just don’t make all that much sense in a severely shortened season. Whether the season is 80 or 100 or 120 games, it will provide less of an opportunity for teams to prove themselves superior to their division rivals. And the shorter the season, the less likely it is that a team will run away with a one-division league and make things boring.

So, for 2020, let’s axe the divisions. 15 teams per league, a balanced schedule, and the top X teams in each league advancing to the playoffs. Since seeding isn’t as much of an advantage in baseball as it is in other sports, and teams are closer to each other in quality, we can maintain some kind of bye situation for the first team or two in each league to make winning the league matter.

A series of proposals by a longtime figure here.

QLE Posted: April 08, 2020 at 01:22 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: 2020 season, 40 man rosters, all-star game, divisions, mlb.tv, players weekend, szymborski

Friday, March 27, 2020

Jason Epstein: On Opening Day, Baseball Fans Pull Up A Chair And Wait

I asked Dan Szymborski, the creator of the ZiPS player projection system and a senior writer for Fangraphs, what we should expect from fans when baseball finally resumes. It increasingly appears we’ll get something approximating a 81-game regular season as the 2020 best-case scenario. Who knows if and when fans will be permitted to cheer on their favorite teams in person?

Nonetheless, he’s upbeat: “[P]eople will likely be eager for anything that resembles a return to normalcy. The damage to the economy plus lingering COVID-19 worries will probably dampen attendance from what it could be, but television interest and general interest will likely be high.”

Szymborski may be right. But that’s then. What about now? Vin Scully, arguably the greatest play-by-play man of all time, enjoyed greeting his television and radio audiences with an inviting, “Pull up a chair and spend part of your Saturday (or whatever the day was) with us.”

Today, we fans — hardcore and casual alike — will pull up a chair. But there will be no Max Scherzer. There will be no Jacob deGrom. Instead, we’ll sit dejected in our bathrobes and nightgowns, waiting for a season that may never come.

Happy Opening Day.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 27, 2020 at 01:15 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: attendance, coronavirus, opening day, szymborski

 

 

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Sheer Tim Foli
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(4513 - 1:00am, Jun 01)
Last: strong silence

NewsblogOT – NBA CoronaThread 2020
(3130 - 12:24am, Jun 01)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (June 2020)
(1 - 12:15am, Jun 01)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogNationals’ Max Scherzer signals union’s rejection of MLB’s proposed salary cuts
(5 - 12:03am, Jun 01)
Last: dejarouehg

NewsblogSon of Agassi, Graf could be a future ace
(33 - 12:00am, Jun 01)
Last: dejarouehg

NewsblogMLB owners sending latest plan to MLBPA that includes sliding pay scale for players
(90 - 11:41pm, May 31)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogMLB teams release hundreds of minor league players, per report
(9 - 10:01pm, May 31)
Last: Ron J

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Spring 2020
(247 - 8:01pm, May 31)
Last: Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert

NewsblogMLB Network to celebrate Derek Jeter's career with 64 consecutive hours of Jeter programming
(38 - 3:00pm, May 31)
Last: puck

NewsblogNot in Missouri anymore: Royals move legal home to Delaware
(7 - 9:30pm, May 30)
Last: Zach

NewsblogRoy Steele, the A’s ‘Voice of God,’ dies
(4 - 6:28pm, May 30)
Last: AndrewJ

NewsblogA's Tell Minor Leaguers They Won't Be Paid for the Remainder of the Season
(36 - 6:07pm, May 30)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogWe Can Show Baseball Reruns, Too
(64 - 10:39am, May 30)
Last: Hysterical & Useless

NewsblogThe Chinese Professional Baseball League OMNICHATTER
(404 - 6:35am, May 30)
Last: Weekly Journalist_

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-29-2020
(16 - 11:26pm, May 29)
Last: Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome

Page rendered in 0.9947 seconds
49 querie(s) executed