Baseball season countdown begins
The 60-game abbreviated MLB baseball season is supposed to begin July 23 or 24, which means it’s coming up faster than we think.
I’m glad they’re getting back on the field, but safety and health must be priority No. 1 with COVID-19 still a pandemic. If baseball manages to get underway, it should be a wild ride from start to finish.
A tough schedule
The Phillies will face their division rivals 10 times each, totaling 40 games. That means one-third of their games will come against the World Series champion Nationals and a very good Braves squad. Then their 20 games outside the National League East will be versus the American League East, including the Yankees and Red Sox. (To compare, 60 games is about 37% of a regular season. So this is the equivalent of an NFL season ending after six games and then launching into the playoffs.)
So it’s not an easy schedule for the Phils. But if they think they’re a playoff team, they should be able to hold their own, right?
DH here to stay?
One change I like is the adoption during the short season of the designated hitter by the National League. I’ve read that it’s quite possible the NL will never go back and will make this permanent.
I’m just tired of seeing pitchers bat. These days, most of them can’t even bunt. What’s the point? There aren’t enough Madison Bumgarners – a hurler who is dangerous at the plate – to make up for the rest.
As for the Phillies, they should have good DH options. Jay Bruce can start against right-handers and Rhys Hoskins against lefties (Hoskins is not a good first baseman).
No more playoff teams
I was disappointed, however, that there won’t be an expanded postseason field this year. With the short season, more teams should make the playoffs because so many of them will be bunched together. What if a club begins to get hot with 15 games to go after a terrible start? I guess the most consistent teams will be rewarded. Even a small slump could doom any postseason dreams.