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MLB abbreviated schedule unlikely to be released this week

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Colorado Rockies news and links for Sunday, June 28, 2020

On my refrigerator I have Rockies magnetic schedules. Lots of them. Right now, they date back to 2016, though I have 2012-2015 in a box somewhere from when I used to have an office. Whether I got next season’s schedule at one of the last games of the year, or on Opening Day, it has always been a real convenient thing to have, especially when we get to June and July and I’m struggling to remember where the next road trip goes to.

It’s been one of the more low-key sad things about losing much of the season to the coronavirus. It has been helpful for keeping track of the Sim Rockies, don’t get me wrong (watch them go for a sweep of the first place Twins later today at 12:15 pm MT!). But it’s still a bummer to see the schedule on the fridge and realize that Coors Field still sits empty.

With the announcement this week that we will be getting actual games, one of the things I have most been looking forward to (and I’m sure I’m not alone in this) is the release of the 60-game schedule. Yeah, the Rockies are going to have to face the Dodgers and Astros, presumptive World Series favorites, but I still want to know what the schedule will look like. Which is why this report bred some excitement!

2020 MLB season schedule: Yankees vs. Nationals to highlight prime-time slate on July 23, per report | CBS Sports

If you’re going to open a season four months late, doing so with the defending champions facing off against the most popular (and most hated) franchise in the sport isn’t a bad way to go. Especially when you factor in the presumptive Gerrit Cole v. Max Scherzer showdown.

While it seemed like a schedule release was immanent, Joel Sherman of the New York Post threw some cold water on that expectation with this Twitter thread. First of all, what we have right now is something that teams have to approve. This is important considering the fact that we are seeing spikes in cases of coronavirus, especially in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California (representing 13 of the MLB teams).

It’s true that, without fans or other potential booking conflicts, there are some normal hurdles to schedules that aren’t in play this year. But there are still factors like TV scheduling and travel, which is especially important considering the current hot spots.

We just might get that Cole v Scherzer Yankees v Nationals matchup to open up the abbreviated season. But we might not know much else until after players report to Spring Training 2.0 Summer Camp.

12 candidates to hit .400 this season | MLB.com

It’s been nearly 80 years since a qualified hitter (minimum 3.1 AB/team game) has finished the season with a .400 or better batting average. Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn and Larry Walker both famously came close(-ish) in 1997 but there hasn’t been a real challenger since then. But with only 60 games and 182 ABs to do it, it becomes a fun thought experiment to consider.

Two takeaways: one, the article is very much a #Coors take, since they break up the contenders into Superstars, Sleepers, and Rockies. Then again, since 1993 someone in purple pinstripes has won the NL batting title 40% of the time, so it’s not exactly going out on a limb (though there are some surprising candidates included).

The second takeaway is that this year is going to wreak havoc on the history books. There have been strike-shortened seasons in the past that have produced some funky results in the league leaderboards, but just 60-games is going to take it to another level. Should a .400 batting average this year be placed alongside Ted Williams’ achievement in 1941? Are writers and historians going to look askance at whoever earns a Cy Young or MVP this season? And don’t get me started on whoever ends up with the Rob Manfred Piece of Metal in 2020.

I do not know the answer to these questions. So I’m going to throw it back on y’all. How are you going to treat league-leaders, record-holders, and award-winners on the individual level? What does a playoff appearance, a division title, a league pennant, or a World Series victory mean in a 60-game season? And how should the league record keepers address these issues?

Let us know in the comments.

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