Nationals

Nationals

Baseball traditionalists are going to roll their eyes. The spin rate will be off the charts.

A 60-game season for Major League Baseball means everything is going to count more. Divide 162 games, the normal season length, by 60 and you get 2.7.

That means every game, every hitting streak, every hitting slump; everything will count 2.7 times more. What in a normal season may register as overanalysis will no longer apply. The takes can now be 2.7 times hotter.

What could be so fascinating about this season is that drawing broad conclusions over small events runs counter to baseball tradition. The sport is all about large sample sizes.

The history of the game celebrates those who were not only good, but for a long time. Longevity is crucial in separating the greats from the others and it can be seen in the Hall of Fame. Some of the most talented players of their eras aren't in Cooperstown because their peak only lasted five or so years.

RELATED: HOW MLB WILL USE VIDEO GAME FOR CROWD NOISE

There is a long list of players who performed like Hall of Famers for noteworthy stretches, just not for long enough to certify their resumes. That includes league MVPs like Ryan Howard, Justin Morneau and Jeff Kent. It also includes Cy Young-winners like Barry Zito, David Cone and Tim Lincecum, who won it twice.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

 

On a smaller scale, the adjusted sample size of this season could change how we view breakout players and breakout teams. With players, it's not uncommon to see immediate success before the league figures somebody out. That can especially be true with pitchers. Now, a two-month stretch equals a full season.

The same goes for teams. Sixty games is a small enough amount that a team could get into the playoffs just because they start out hot. In another year, the grind of the season could slow them down by exposing their lack of depth or experience. 

Now, there is a greater likelihood of a one-year wonder team doing real damage and maybe even winning it all. All you have to do is be the best team for half a season's worth of games and reach your peak when you would otherwise be gearing up for the All-Star break.

It may be difficult to sort through what is legitimate and what isn't. The World Series-winner, for instance, should arguably be seen as true champions. The teams are playing the same game by the same rules as everyone else. As long as no one cheats, asterisks are not needed.

The same logic should probably apply to most award winners. If you are the MVP or Cy Young-winner, that means you were the best at your craft in a given season. But where things will undoubtedly get tricky is statistical feats. Hitting .400 or carrying a microscopic ERA just won't carry the same meaning as it would in other years.

That's where the line will likely need to be drawn. What happens relative to other players and teams within the singular season matters. But relative to other, more complete seasons in baseball history is where issues will arise.

In the moment, all of it should be fun and embraced. Every run, every error, every win and loss will carry so much more weight. And though we have been conditioned to not overreact to the little things in baseball, for one season they will all be fair game.

There is added importance to everything now. Let the hot takes commence.

Stay connected to the Nationals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: