Sunday, August 2, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, August 2, 2020 -- "How Long?"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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"Here’s the thing, though: MLB doesn’t care about the legitimacy of the 2020 season. The 2020 regular season can be anything so long as it runs long enough for MLB to put on a postseason tournament. That’s where the money is. Given what we’ve seen over the last week, it’s clear that the strategy is to hang on with both hands to whatever games can be played, set teams aside when they need to be set aside, and get to September 27 with 16 teams that can be broadcast on ESPN and Fox and TBS for the next month. The things that might tick off hardcore fans, traditionalist fans, baseball fans are rarely front of mind for MLB, and they don’t exist at all right now. Extra-inning fake doubles, big rosters, seven-inning games, letting stars walk away, making the schedule up in pencil every morning...MLB will do anything to just get through the next eight weeks."