New York: I will be the first to admit there was no chance the abbreviated 2020 MLB season would resume and get to the final culmination of crowning a new World Series champion. Here we are in late October and baseball has survived during a global pandemic.
Also when baseball resumed in mid July, in conjunction with Latino Sports, MLB and teams assisted in distributing the annual Latino Sports MVP award to players that are recipients in a vote conducted with a vote among members of the Latino Sports writers and broadcasters association. Proudly we were the only and distinguished web site to have that accomplished with the strict medical protocols in place.
So how was this possible? It took a lot of work, effort, cooperation, and of course MLB had the manpower and money to assure we would get to this point.
There were hesitations and some disruption with the schedule as teams secured the proper medical protocols that were in place. And with exception of the surprising Marlins and Cardinals,disrupted with players or personnel testing positive for COVID, the 60-game season was accomplished.
The postseason, though, with television ratings in a decline has been a success. Many home runs balls, bullpens are very active, and analytics play a role in situations that a manager is confronted with during a game situation.
Regardless if you were in favor or not of the expanded playoff format, 16 teams, MLB devised a way to make the game more interesting. Though, in my opinion, the format needs to revert to the division winners and two wild card teams in each league.
The pre pandemic postseason was acceptable in that a wild card team did not have to win their division and advance to the World Series as unfairly as that works. That was evident last year as the Nationals with a second half surge were kings of baseball.
And to prevent a further spread of the Coronavirus, MLB and the players agreed to that “Bubble” environment. The divisional series, league championship games, the World Series played at neutral sites at Petco Park in San Diego and Globe Life Field in Arlington Texas have gone on without a disruption.
Last night in Arlington, Game 2 of the World Series, the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers made it more interesting. There was more drama as Blake Snell had a no-hitter going in 4 ⅔ innings. The Dodgers quickly scored two runs and put the tying run on base.
It got more interesting as did the World Series. Rays’ manager Kevin Cash lifted Snell and went to the bullpen. An analytical move? Perhaps, but the percentages worked and the bullpens went to work.
The array of Rays’ out of the bullpen and those who played a role in getting them to this point put out the fire. They preserved a lead. Nick Anderson got them out of the fifth inning.
Aaron Loop could not get the last out. Was it analytics again with two outs? Diego Castillo used three pitches to strike out Chris Taylor. Castillo has become a premiere reliever and one of many storylines during this successful 2020 MLB season.
Tampa Bay made this a series at a game apiece in the best of seven. with 6-4 win. Both teams have a needed day off Thursday as MLB kept to that format of a travel day and played at a neutral ballpark.
Yes, we got through 60-games. We are almost at the end of this unusual season that many said would not work and that includes this writer. But it has been a success and still more to come.
Again thumbs up to Major League Baseball. They took a chance and lost what is reported to be major revenue because there were no fans in the seats due to medical protocols With the rule changes and alternative sites for players it has worked.
And it is not over before thinking about what comes next year. The drama will continue as we move on to Game 3 Friday night.
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