Yesterday’s Rockpile went through the various pros and cons of potential restart plans for MLB amid growing reports of confidence that MLB will have a 2020 season in one form or another. While there are still many hurdles to get over, I can’t help but hide my excitement. Baseball is something this country could really use right now - it goes without saying that health of players and the nation is priority number one, but baseball would give many people something to be happy about.
There’s no question this season will be drastically different than any baseball has ever seen, but that doesn’t mean a World Series victory would mean anything less. Count me in as someone who agrees with Bob Nightengale (and Dave Roberts for that matter) in thinking a World Series win this year deserves the same recognition as any other.
Fewer games, new divisions, and who knows what other changes may make this year seem inferior to previous seasons, but there is no statistical way to capture the impact of the coronavirus on players’ mental health, ability to prepare, and other factors. A 2020 World Series victory = other World Series victories.
As the possibility of an MLB season increases, we might as well take a look at some of things that could make this season exciting...and more importantly how good they could be for the Rockies based on a ten-point scale.
1. The Universal DH Should be in Effect and Gain Support
Rockies Impact (6/10): Having a hitter hit instead of a pitcher is always a good thing, right? Okay, that opinion might get me some hate in the comments, but I think the Rockies would take any hitting help they could get.
2. Regional Rivalries Will Actually Matter
Rockies Impact (0/10): Not a whole lot to it given the Rockies already are in a division with the teams closest to them. If this division realignment got the Rockies playing the Dodgers less, I would be happy. It doesn’t. Therefore, I am not happy.
3. MLB Will Get to Experiment With New Playoff Format
Rockies Impact (9/10): The earliest reports of a new playoff format suggested an increase in the number of participants. More available spots = more opportunities for the Rockies to get in. Yes, please.
4. Bryce Harper Would Play Division Games at Yankee Stadium
Rockies Impact (N/A): No real way to relate this one to the Rockies other than the fact he didn’t come to play at Coors when he was a free agent, and, therefore, he is a player I do not like.
5. Mike Trout Would Play Division Games at Coors Field
Rockies Impact (0/10 but also 10/10): Would having to face Mike Trout at elevation more often be absolutely terrible for the Rockies and their chances of winning? Yes. But would it be fun to watch the best player of this generation get the altitude boost of Denver more often? Also, yes.
6. The Dodgers and Astros Could Battle for the West
Rockies Impact (1/10): This mostly sucks because you’d have two teams that are not only very, very good, but also not very likable (the Dodgers because they’re so dang good and the Astros because cheating is bad, and we don’t like it). But, hey, playing against the best makes you better, right? So we’ll give this a 1/10 instead of the expected 0/10.
7. We’ll See What Games without Fans Look Like
Rockies Impact (0/10): Crowded ballgames at Coors Field were an unbeatable way to spend the day in past seasons, and imagining an empty stadium certainly takes away some of the charm of Rockies baseball.
It’s tough to imagine, but it happened as recently as 2015 for a game.
Tim Kurkjian recalled the time he watched the Orioles and White Sox face off in an empty stadium during the Baltimore Riots, and it provides for an interesting look into what we might be experiencing for most of this year. It may not be the ideal way to have baseball go on, but during this time, any baseball will do.
Let’s hope MLB can find a safe way to make this happen.