The season is spared, but at a Cost. 3 months after Major League Baseball ceased all operations due to the coronavirus, MLB and the Players Union have agreed to terms to bring a prorated 2020 season.
Players will report for baseball duties on July 1st with opening day occurring around July 24th.
With this shortened season we’ll see things that no baseball fans have ever seen. The 60-game season will be the shortest since 1878.
The entire season seems to be an experiment of sorts. Most games will be played within their own division to reduce travel and the risk of covid infection.
The team rosters will be expanded from to 25 to 26 including a maximum of 16 pitchers before August 31st. There has been one thing that National League fans have boasted about is that there was no designated hitter in the NL, well that is no more.
At least for the next two seasons there will be a universal DH. Finally, the strangest rule added this season is the concept of an automatic base runner in extra innings.
Any game tied after 9 innings will have a runner standing at second base for innings ten and beyond. There are even circumstances where games can end in a tie. Tied games haven’t been seen in MLB since the pre-electric light era. One thing that will not be happening is the expanded playoffs. Originally Major League Baseball tossed around the idea of a 16 team playoff instead the usual 10. For now the 10 team playoff still stands.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
For our local teams there are pros and cons for the shortened season. Los Angeles Dodgers fans can finally see Mookie Betts play his contractual 1 season, and they get to give a well deserved farewell to third baseman and CSUF alum Justin Turner who believes the team will not re-sign him at the end of the season.
It also gives ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw a chance to redeem himself and another shot at a championship. As for the team, 2020 may be shortened, but it remains World Series Championship time or bust! Fans also get to see the much anticipated renovated Dodger Stadium.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS
For the Los Angeles Angels, there is no identity crisis. They live and breath in the OC and call Anaheim home. GM Billy Eppler got with the powers that be this off-season and made some noise with several key acquisitions.
For Angels fans they may get to witness baseball history in 2020. 1st baseman Albert Pujos has a chance to achieve baseball immortality as he chases Baseball’s home run title.
Mike Trout may just be the best player in baseball… ever! He has another year to prove it. Expect another highlight-type season from Trout, even if it’s a shorter season.
It also gives fans a chance to check out new pitching addition Julio Teheran who the team acquired form the Braves back in December. 2020 also gives the world an opportunity to check out a healthy Shohei Otani (MLB’s pitching and hitting sensation).
Then there’s the big acquisition catch of the off-season. That prize went to the Angels. They landed 3rd baseman free-agent Anthony Rendon. Coming off his best season ever as a major leaguer during the Washington Nationals World Championship season, his bat and glove was highly coveted by just about every team in baseball. The Angels landed not only an elite infielder, but they also added some much needed pop to the line up.
Either way, it’s bitter sweet to have the baseball season back. Some fans are jaded by the hold-off, some are just excited to have a little baseball instead of no baseball. I stand firm in believing this is what society needs and at the right time.