Chicago Cubs second baseman Jason Kipnis (27) turns to finish a double play with a throw over St. Louis Cardinals Dexter Fowler (25) during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Chicago. The Cardinals will be ramping up their games with 53 games in 44 days to make up for canceled games (AP Photo/Mark Black)
Covid-19, Doubleheaders, Time of the Game
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
As of today, a total of 33 games have been postponed, because of Covid-19. There is a good chance some teams (like during the 1981 season, shortened by a 50-day players strike) will not be able to play the same amount of games.
Nothing wrong with that, as long as there is not a big difference in games. If a team ends playing 55 games, out of the 60-game season, it seems fair, however lesser games played could damage the season.
Going into the playoffs that could be a concern and winning percentages might have a key role to play. The St Louis Cardinals (one of the teams affected by Covid-19) are now in the process of playing 53 games in 44 days. If Cardinals fans like doubleheaders, 2020 is their year! However, that is not good if you are a pitcher and Managers will tell you the same.
Going by what has happened it seems that MLB didn’t have a good plan regarding how to handle playing with a Pandemic, and Protocols have not worked as good as they expected. MLB doesn’t want to be the league that fails, since the NBA and NHL have been successful, so far. It remains to be seen when it comes to the NFL season.
Why are the Playoffs this season that important?
1-MLB Stands to make $1 Billion in Television revenue.
2-Prior to the season, players negotiated a $50 million dollar Playoff pool.
3-More than likely teams that qualify for the Playoffs, total of 16 (eight on each league) will be playing in a Bubble, like the NBA. This means less travel for the players, easier to contain virus infections. Cities have yet to be announced if the go to the Bubble plan.
Statistics: Interesting stats about game time so far. We know during the last few years MLB has been trying to shorten the game time, by using various rule changes. So far this 2020 season, the seven inning games are averaging two hours and 34 minutes. While the regular nine inning games 3 hours and 6 minutes, and that is the longest ever.
Baseball is a game of stats today more than ever. Everything has a number: launch angle, speed of the ball leaving the bat, two of the most recent. I tolerate them, but not hooked on them, to me a home run is just that, regardless if it is so high it broke a cloud and so hard that nobody saw the ball, still a home run and you can trot around the bases.
In case you think that the seven inning games are here to stay, you do not have to worry much. Doubtful this will be permanently set. Less innings means less stat (fewer records) for players and in return it will always have the owners paying less money. The chances that seven inning games are going to be here to stay, I would say are two: “slim and none”.
Stay well and stay tuned.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s lead radio Spanish play by play talent at 1010 KIQI San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com