BASEBALL IS BACK!
That is the most important information I can bring to you this week. The Korean Baseball League season is underway and ESPN is televising six games a week. The time difference makes viewing the games a little tricky, but baseball is baseball. Maybe MLB will take notes.
Before we get too excited about copying the blueprint that KBO has set out for baseball in the Coronavirus era, it’s important to note they have quite the head start. South Korea had one of the world’s most successful responses to the pandemic. We’ll let you decide how you feel the US has done overall, but it’s safe to say we aren’t in as great a position as South Korea.
The games are being played in empty stadiums for now, with plans for incremental increases throughout the year, something MLB will almost certainly have to adopt, to return this year. Other KBO rules are less essential to the resumption of the league, but may be worth a try in MLB:
- A 14-team playoff bracket: I’d prefer a rule that guarantees the Rockies a spot, but apparently that isn’t a thing in South Korea either, so I doubt we’ll be getting that any time soon
- Cheerleaders: I can’t imagine that would go over well here, but apparently the people in South Korea love it
- 12-inning tie: Also probably not super popular in the States, but it would cut down on player fatigue and injury risk
“You literally just said Korean Baseball was the most important news of the week. How are you over it already?”
I know. I know. And I still think it is. But our friends over at Mile High Hockey showed me the light of Pesäpallo, and let me tell you - it doesn’t disappoint.
Do I get the rules? Absolutely not.
Does the fact that the field is twice the length of an MLB field remind me of my belief that any sport with so much running is inherently too difficult? You bet. I hate running.
But this game seems awesome. Wiffle ball bats, three designated hitters (if you choose), and pitchers standing directly next to the batter and tossing the ball up. All staples in the game. It just seems like an amped-up version of baseball, which is wonderful.
I hope this game takes hold in the US, regardless of whether or not MLB comes back this year.
And since we’re back on the topic of the possible return of MLB, let’s once again, use a very narrow lens to create optimism around the Rockies, something I consider myself to be quite good at. We looked at this already in Wednesday’s Rockpile but more sources = more confidence in the fact that this projection will come true.
The Rockies are projected to be the 2nd best in the NL in something this year. And something positive that is. Fangraphs took a look at how NL teams would fare if they were forced into using a DH every game this year and oh baby the Rockies are lookin’ good.
Fangraphs projects Daniel Murphy at DH for the Rockies gaining .8 WAR over the alternative of no DH, putting him only behind Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals (1.1 WAR increase) for highest net gain in the league. Any stat that projects the Rockies to be 2nd in the NL that isn’t strikeouts, losses, or anything else negative, has my attention. So sign me up for the universal DH. Show us what you got, Daniel.
Now. Time for me to do more research on how to play Pesäpallo and hope I didn’t miss my prime.