By Scotty Mincher
After a lengthy delay, America’s pastime has returned, Well in some sense anyway. The Major
League Baseball Players Association and owners agreed on health and safety protocols that will
govern baseball as it attempts to return during the Coronavirus pandemic. The league
implemented a 60 game season that featured the World Champion Washington Nationals, as
they faced off against the New York Yankees on July 23rd in prime time.
The world is in a current state unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and because of that, just like with everything else, baseball will have a very odd and different feel to it in 2020. You can find pluses and minuses with anything in life and baseball is no exception. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of this shortened baseball season.
Starting with some of the pros for this year, because of the effects of the Coronavirus and the hunger for live sports, and Particularly team sports getting stronger by the day, I feel like baseball will gain fans at least in the short term that are part of the younger crowd of early 30 somethings and under. Much of today’s world can get and wants everything to be fast, so the demand for sports, along with a shortened season will in many ways add up to the young impatient fan’s dream. Another pro for this season is the universal DH. It’s not that I don’t like strategy in baseball and haven’t appreciated the double switch in the past, but pitchers batting has to go! I’ve seen enough of the vast majority of major league pitchers not being able to hit to save their lives. One might argue that the use of a DH eliminates the use of good strategy, But I feel it still makes the game more entertaining Because you know, DH’s can actually hit the ball. That alone makes the universal DH good for the game. The biggest plus about baseball coming back, is that every game this year will be managed like a game 7. I’m a diehard baseball fan, but also
know that as a fan because the season is so long, it can be harmful from an emotional perspective
to get too wrapped up in one single game and not look at the series that are played and won or
lost throughout the 162 game schedule. This makes it hard to get excited about every game. But
this year, with the 60 game schedule every game will have a do or die, win or go home type feel
and that’s a positive unlike anything baseball has seen.
Now we shift to the cons. The first con that immediately came to my mind is that I feel that this season could be the start of a drop off in the older generations of fans, or fans who just love everything about baseball and baseball purists. If this season is successful and met with high praise from fans 30 or younger, it could create a domino effect that leads to commissioner Rob Manfred reducing games in future seasons. I wouldn’t say it’s likely because more games always mean more money, but because
Manfred is looking to speed up the game to appease the modern fan I wouldn’t rule it out. That’s
bad for fans like me who think the game is fine the way it is. Teams starting with a runner on
second base after nine innings is another negative. I get that baseball doesn’t want to have
marathon games especially during a pandemic, but to me, this just seems like a cheap way to
make the game go faster. As the great Lebron James once said, “Nothing is given everything is
earned.” That’s why I don’t like this incorporation into baseball. You could hit one single or the
other team could make one error and it could decide a game. I like seeing hard work pay off
more than I like seeing a shortcut that’s taken result is a plus for one group of people and not the
other. This rule is an example of that. It should go after 2020! The biggest minus from baseball
coming back this year is that it could very much be a springboard for a baseball lockout in 2022.
I haven’t sat in on any meetings between the players and owners this year but from everything
I’ve heard they aren’t gonna be having Thanksgiving dinner together any time soon. Millionaires
fighting with Billionaires isn’t a good look for the game, especially considering that 30 million
people lost their jobs because of the virus. I tend to think that in the long run, Even though it
would suck to not have baseball in 2020, it would help baseball avoid a lockout in 2022.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and no baseball this year I believe would just add fuel to
the games appreciation train, and make the owners and players salivate even more over what the
game has to offer. Just like a lot of people, I’m ecstatic that baseball is back. But with cases of the
virus spiking and several players already dropping out for the season due to health concerns, I
think a stoppage this year, might bode better for baseball in 2022 and beyond. That a look at my
biggest pros and cons for baseball’s return in 2020.
For more check out the Scotty’s, Hot Takes podcast and ysnlive.com, and see ya next week!