I like seeing optimism. I really do. We’re at a time when it is in short supply, and sometimes it’s nice to just feel like there’s a light coming.
But I also want to make sure we’re all being realistic about how long the COVID-19 pandemic might alter our lives. To that end, I want to pass along a tentative report about this season, but with some emotional caution to follow.
News coming at some point from MLB on tentative but still VERY uncertain plans. Sources say both sides would like 140-150 games. Weekly double headers possible. Regular season games in October. June draft will be cut in half at least. Looking at possibly 10 rounds. @SportsGrid
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) March 25, 2020
Wouldn’t it be nice to see MLB wring out 140+ games this year, making it VERY close to a full regular season? Hell yes. That would be awesome.
But the hurdles are just so numerous.
First, you’ve gotta assume the pandemic hits peak cases in time for Spring Training Part Two to begin at some point in May. Then you’ve gotta assume you can start the regular season at least by mid-June. Then you’ve gotta be OK with the regular season lasting through October, and all the weather risks that come with it. Then you’ve gotta be OK with the postseason being played almost entirely at neutral sites in domes or in warm-weather areas, because it’ll last into December. Then you’ve gotta assume there are no disruptions in the fall because of a resurgence of COVID-19.
… and you’ve still gotta make the math work.
Consider that there are just 138 days between June 15 and October 31. Getting in 140 games in 138 days, even with expanded rosters and even with WEEKLY doubleheaders is rough. That would mean just 17 off-days for each team during the season – about three per month – despite playing an average of seven games every seven days. With apologies, I just don’t see how that’s possible.
So, again, the optimism is great, and we’ll soon start to learn what MLB’s tentative scheduling plans are. But I think it’s a safer bet to hope for about 100 games this season. I’d gladly take that.