Major League Baseball: Is anyone counting innings?

Some Major League Baseball (MLB) teams have missed games because of COVID-19 infections. A few teams have gotten too many infections to field a team. Also a few of the venues had to be disinfected before games could resume.

These types of outbreaks are why the only Canadian team, the Toronto Blue Jays, had to move to their triple A site in Buffalo. Canada didn’t want to increase their own COVID-19 rates. Even with the reduced number of teams restricted to the Eastern teams from each league, the Canadian or provincial government shut down that possibility.

Complicating things was the work stoppage games on 27 and 28 August. This was not just some players missing those games, the teams decided not to play. But all everyone on those days. All complicated by players who have opted out of the season to protect their health. This shortened season has been difficult to follow.

At some point, the league knew there was going to be a problem. But they remained set on completing the 60 scheduled games. But to do so some concession was going to have to be made. They came up with doubleheaders that would only be 7 innings long to make-up any missed games.

Normally I do more research before typing. But this is just a hypothesis. And also, everything up to this point has been from memory. The rest will just be filled with conjecture

I understand that an official game can be ruled after 5 innings. But that is usually just a game stopped for bad weather or other circumstances. So why didn’t the MLB just use that as the standard? Reinforcing the established standard based on being a game over half complete.

The MLB increased the length to 7 innings to get more games in. I guess because it is half way between 5 and 9? But that doesn’t address fairness.

Two teams have missed a bunch of games: the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. As of 2 September 2020; both those teams are still eligible for either a direct spot in the expanded playoffs or a wild card spot. But is that fair?

If someone in their division has played all 9 inning games, shouldn’t that be a consideration? If the teams with less innings win games “quicker” by only have 7 innings, why does that count the same? I think there is an easier solution.

They should take the time to count the innings played. Work out a schedule to make sure it is even. This has to happen throughout the leagues at least. Some could argue it only matters within a division. The reason I disagree is the wild cards. I am not sure exactly how it is working but it will be a league-wide.

If I was an owner who was playing more full games, I would demand parity. If a team misses the playoffs by one spot or because of one game; how can this move forward? In a 162 game season; the league does everything possible to play complete 9 inning games. Plus, over a full season, missing a few innings hear and there is less impactful. With only 60 games; the margin of error is smaller.

Normally, MLB is the main summer sport. There isn’t really competition from Major League Soccer (MLS) since most Americans are really soccer fans (even though I personally follow it). And there is no international support for MLS. Most soccer/football fans are watching international competitions during the summer (this year the big one should have been EURO 20).

In addition this year NBA and NHL have been going on during the dog-days. The NBA had some barely consequential (except for the Memphis Grizzlies who got screwed royally) games and got into playoffs quickly. In contrast; the NHL went into a pseudo-playoff method of seeding. But 1/3 of the teams got eliminated immediately and were out of the bubble after one series. So there was intrigue from the jump. While this quick synopsis does no justice to what is happening in those leagues; it shows why both are more exciting than baseball. And neither has had COVID-19 problems in the bubble. Prompting baseball to look at the possibility of their own bubble/bubbles come playoff time.

I included this to detail that MLB has had to compete for “eyes” more than usual. Plus, they don’t have any spectators in their stadiums. None. Making it harder to generate an audience. Players that are used to more excitement have been regulated to fake crowd noise.

The set up should have generated more Not sure if this will be any teams concern or not. Honestly, I don’t follow baseball as closely as I did as a kid. With NFL and some college football coming back soon; not sure that is going to change this year. But some drama around the playoffs might change that. Particularly if it started with questioning the legitimacy of teams. Generate some reason for my viewership otherwise I will take it elsewhere.

About drphlgoode

Just an Average Joe
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