We're almost to the end of the 2020 baseball season, truncated though it was. I have a few observations that make sense to me, at least.
**It was a good idea to expand the playoffs to include more teams, but to run the seven-game series without any off days made for some funky moves. Teams using seven pitchers in a game and making a lot of those pitching changes during the inning makes for long delays and many more commercials. Lord knows we need both of those. The broadcasters accepted it without question because everyone knows that managers know the "best" way to run these games.
They're trying to keep pitchers fresh because, you know, there are no days off. I think we heard that phrase at least 10 times a game. So the way to do that was to use everybody for a short amount of time, right? Get the starting pitcher out of there as soon as possible because the bullpens are strong, right? Bring in six relievers in a game and you know somebody is going to have an off night and there goes the ball game. This is a lesson that Kevin Cash learned in Game Six of the AL Championship. He took Snell out in the fifth, having thrown just 82 pitches to bring in his top reliever and bye-bye ballgame.
Here's a scoop: If an idea is wrong but a lot of people do it, then a lot of people are wrong. It reminds me of a line out of "Moneyball," when the manager explains to the GM why he makes certain moves. "I'm managing so I can explain my moves when I interview for a job in the off season." It doesn't matter if it's the right way, only that it's the accepted way.
**I noticed that for the most part, the only people in the dugout wearing masks are the manager and the staff. Not only don't the players wear them, they do everything but kiss each other on the mouth in celebrations. No mention of this from any of the broadcasters, of course.
Speaking of broadcasters, is anyone else as sick of Ron Darling as I am? There was a rumor earlier that MLB was going to use Davis Cone but they haven't. He can be wordy but at least he's insightful and funny. Ron Darling sometimes sounds like he's putting himself to sleep.
**Just a suggestion that may only interest Yankee fans. There is a suggestion mentioned by a few analysts that the Yanks should trade Luke Voit, move LeMahieu to first, move Torres to second and sign a shortstop. Makes sense because Gleyber Torres is no major league shortstop. If you saw him play in 2019, you know he wasn't much of a second baseman either. I have a suggestion: move Torres to first base and leave the gold glove winner LeMahieu at second. But that's just me.
Yeah, and bring back Didi Gregorious!
***THEY SAID IT***
"Biologists claim Washington is one of 24 states with proven cases of the so-called "Zombie Virus." As good an explanation as any for the Seattle Mariners." -- RJ Currie
"Sunday has been declared LeBron James Day throughout Red China. All Nike factories will remain open late." -- Phil Mushnick
"The LSU-Florida game has been canceled. Not sure if this is due to Covid or somebody realized that Bo Pelini's defense can't tackle anyone so what's the point?" -- Brad Dickson
"Will the Red Sox bring back exiled manager Alex Cora, banned this past season for his role in the Astros’ signal-stealing scandal?A lot of signs certainly point to it. And advocates are banging the drum for him. … OK, sorry." -- Dwight Perry
"We recently lost Lou Brock, Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver and other Hall of Famers this year. Nice try, 2020, but these guys are immortal." -- Argus Hamilton
"The Giants (0-5) play Washington (1-4) Sunday. Chances are very good that one team will win the titanic clash … But it’s hard to see how." -- Bob Molinaro
"Bad news for the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos – due to positive COVID-19 cases, their Sunday game was postponed. Worse news for the 0-5 Atlanta Falcons, their Sunday game wasn’t." -- Janice Hough
"Washington against NY Giants - Here we have the third game in the dead-heat as the Dog-Breath Game of the Week. You almost have to root for a tie game here because neither team gives any indication that it deserves to win one" -- Jack Finarelli, The Sports Curmudgeon