Following what felt like a never ending back-and-fourth between the Major League Baseball Players Union and the MLB Owners, commissioner Rob Manfred implemented a 60-game regular season, with various adjustments to comply with the shortened season due to coronavirus.
With daily virus testing, and the many other uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, the return of Major League Baseball is still not a guarantee. However, with the notion that there will be little to no fans in attendance, limited reporters, limited team travel, and many other variables, we can all hope that everyone goes to plan, and that there will be baseball in 2020.
For the Dodgers, a 60-game regular season with an expanded postseason is oddly worrisome. For a team who has struggled getting off to a hot start in recent years, and has began slowly, a season that contains only about 37% of the normal 162 games raises many questions. That said, unlike a 162-game season, a 60-game season is less of a marathon, and more of a sprint. With the team the Dodgers have built, I’m sure each player will make the necessary adjustments in order to live up to the surrounding hype. Unsurprisingly, the Los Angeles Dodgers are co-favorites with the New York Yankees to win the 2020 World Series. Wouldn’t that be a fun Fall Classic!
Yes, indeed, us LA fans will (finally and thankfully) be able to witness former-MVP Mookie Betts in a Dodgers uniform. Each squad will play only 60 games — 40 against their own division, and 20 against their interleague division opponents — causing for immediate urgency. For the Dodgers, that means 10 games against each the Padres, Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Giants. Furthermore, they will play 5 games against each the Rangers, Mariners, Athletics, Astros (do I even have to say anything…?) and the exciting cross-town rival Angels.
So… what’s going to happen? The simple answer: nobody knows. The safety of players, team personnel, and everyone involved in this long process of returning is the priority. However, if all works out and there is baseball in 2020, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in great shape to display a very interesting and exciting season. I guess we’re all experiencing this unique time together. We can only hope for baseball!
Mookie Betts is a Dodger, and Spring Training 2020 is upon us.