Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020
Shortly, baseball might return. Wednesday Major League Baseball, and not owners, made a proposal for 60 games at full prorated pay. Although the players would desire more games, they probably will accept the new proposal.
If the owners stuck to their agreement that they obtained in March, we would have been in spring training phase 2 right now. Like most business owners, baseball owners wanted to maximize their profits by cutting costs. This didn’t please the players (costs).
Having a 60-game regular season will provide entertainment for baseball-deprived fans, but the integrity of the baseball season is in doubt. After 60 games, there will be at least three rounds of the playoffs. If baseball has a world champion, this fortunate team should have an asterisk.
In March, when spring training stopped, seems like a lifetime ago. The Los Angeles Dodgers had one of the healthiest spring trainings in their history. Most baseball-knowledgeable people thought the Dodgers would be one of the favorites to win the World Series.
Now, the players have sat for three months with limited opportunities for baseball activities. If there is a baseball season, the players need at least two weeks for “spring training” before the regular season begins. Even with “spring training,” Major League Baseball needs to implement special rules for pitchers. No starting pitcher can build enough endurance and arm strength to go five innings without risk of injury after two weeks of “spring training.” Moreover, a reliever cannot pitch an inning.
The nucleus of the Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, and Justin Turner – is older. Older players are more prone to injure themselves. Kershaw has a history of back problems, which can flare up at any time. In recent years, he has battled diminished velocity, limiting his effectiveness. This March when spring training occurred, Kershaw looked as good as in 2014, the last time he won a National League Cy Young Award. Nevertheless, now who knows about Kershaw?
Jansen is coming off his poorest year as a Dodger closer. His velocity was diminished, and his cutter did not have its usual sharp bite. Over the 2019-2020 offseason, Jansen found a mechanical flaw, affecting both his velocity and cutter. In March, Jansen appeared as his old dominating self. However, the three-month layoff may have taken its toll on Jansen.
With Turner’s history of hamstring and knee issues, nobody knows how he will respond to the three-month layoff.
If baseball returns, Dodger fans shall see the dynamic Mookie Betts. Since the Dodgers have more depth than most teams, they should play better than most. With a 60-game regular season, a team cannot afford a slow start. Batting averages should be lower, and ERAs should be higher than usual.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Major League Baseball should not be played deep in October because he expects the second wave of COVID-19 to hit then. With this hypothesis, both NFL and college football seasons are in jeopardy. Having baseball return shall help the nation heal from the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial tensions ignited by the unfortunate death of George Floyd, but the 2020 season should not be taken seriously in the baseball record books.
Let’s play ball!