Dodgers, Red Sox among winners, losers from MLB's 60-game season
Winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
We'll start things off with a batting practice fastball down the middle.
The Dodgers made the splash move of the offseason, acquiring Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox and did so by paying 50 cents on the dollar. The Dodgers are loaded with talent and primed to contend to win the World Series.
A canceled season would have seen Betts hit free agency without ever having played a regular-season game in Dodger blue. Doesn't matter if it's 60-games or 160, the Dodgers no doubt are just thrilled the juggernaut they assembled actually gets to take the field.
Loser: Madison Bumgarner
The odd 2020 MLB season will see a few rule changes, and we know Madison Bumgarner won't be happy about one.
The universal DH will come to baseball this season which means the former Giants ace won't get to take many hacks -- if any -- in 2020.
Likewise, all of baseball loses in not getting to see MadBum rake. But the universal DH, in general, is a good thing for baseball.
Winner: Houston Astros
The Houston Astros were prepared to walk into opposing ballparks for 81 games and get jeered mercilessly for their sign-stealing scandal. Rightfully so.
But with the coronavirus pandemic taking fans out of the equation, baseball's new villains can plot their next title-stealing scheme in peace without the incessant banging of trash cans to distract them.
If only the Astros could have given the Dodgers the same courtesy in 2017 and put the trash cans away.
I'm unsure of the guy wearing a trash can as a hat is a purist but let's go with it.
The 2020 season will be much different than any other played in baseball history. As mentioned, there will be a universal DH in 2020 and chances are it will be here to stay. But MLB also will bring a rule it has been experimenting with in the minors to the majors in 2020. In extra innings, teams now will start with a runner on second base in an attempt to hasten games and avoid marathon contests.
These changes no doubt will make fans who long for the good-old-days of Mordecai Three-Finger Brown red with rage.
Tough luck, purists. This is going to be a lot more fun.
Winner: New York Yankees
For 11 years, peace and prosperity have reigned in Major League Baseball (except in 2017) as the New York Yankees toiled somewhere between mediocre and just good enough to have their hearts broken in October.
The Evil Empire has been waiting and rebuilding and were set to enter the 2020 season as one of the AL favorites with new ace Gerrit Cole set to headline the rotation.
The rebellion kept the Yankees at bay for over a decade, but now it appears the Dark Side is ready to rise to prominence once more.
Loser: Boston Red Sox
Like the Resistance praying the First Order wouldn't find them on Crait, the Red Sox had to be hoping beyond all hope that the 2020 season wouldn't be played.
Let's recap what was a hellish offseason for the Boys of
Yawkey Way Jersey Street.
They lost manager Alex Cora who was implicated as part of the Astros' 2017 sign-stealing scandal. Ace left-hander Chris Sale finally underwent Tommy John Surgery a-year-and-a-half after his arm was shot during a World Series run. Oh, and owner john Henry who is worth *checks notes* $2.6 billion decided he had to cut costs so he could spend money in the future. (Make sense? Didn't think so). In order to do so, the Red Sox traded their best player in Betts, along with Price and $44 million (so much for saving money) for a couple of above average prospects.
To be sure, the Red Sox did all this only to have their fans revolt on them and force them to spend even more money in free agency on a player who isn't as good as Betts. (See: Jon Lester scenario in 2014).
It's going to be an unpleasant 60 games for New England's finest.
Winner: Expected non-contenders
Teams like the Giants, who weren't expected to be playoff contenders, could find the 2020 season to be a nice change of pace.
in a normal 162-game season, the best in baseball normally rise to the top. it's too long of a season for frauds to be playing in October. But with a 60-game season that will see teams only play teams in their division and the corresponding division from the other league (NL West plays AL West), anything truly can happen.
If a team gets off to a fast start and sits at 25-15 after 40 games, they will be in good position to make the playoffs with only 20 games left in the season instead of the normal 120 games left to course correct.
Loser: True contenders
While teams like the Giants, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers now can look at the 2020 season as a sprint to the World Series, the true contenders have seen the field evened.
The A's, Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, Atlanta Braves and the like now are a slow start or an injury away from seeing their postseason hopes go up in flames.
The shortened season should bring the leaders back to the pack and make for a championship that almost anyone can win.