FanPost

After yesterday, I'm now ACTIVELY rooting for the 2020 MLB season to be canceled. Here's Why.

It seemed like a good idea at first.

Reformatting the schedule to limit travel, cramming 60 games into a few months before a hypothetical postseason that would feature an expanded field, creating a larger "player pool" for teams to work with and sending the other prospects home, sprinkling in a few experimental rules like the universal DH and starting extra innings with runners on base. These little wrinkles both made sense, given the current circumstances, and added intrigue for baseball fans who were ready to see something unprecedented. Not all of the changes are ideal, but they were at least somewhat fair in the sense that they affected every team equally.

Now that is no longer the case. Though the calendar has yet to reach August, we are already seeing MLB removing balance from the playing field before our very eyes as well as tossing in additional, poorly-conceived rules on the fly. Whether it's by design or unintended, the league has created an unfair competitive disadvantage for a number of teams (thus creating an unnecessary advantage for their divisional foes) which calls into question the legitimacy of this season. As if that wasn't already under heavy scrutiny.

While 12 teams will likely play their 8th game of season later today, the Phillies and the Marlins have each only played 3 games so far (not against each other) and both of their respective scheduled games for tonight (also not against each other) have already been postponed. That disparity is only going to grow, since MLB shows no sign of hitting the pause button on the season while teams affected by COVID attempt to recover and eventually field a healthy team. The playoffs start at the same time for every team. So between now and then, some teams will have to play 57 games while other will only need to play 52, probably even less. Even if the postseason gets pushed back, that still results in more rest for some teams. When every postseason team has to participate in the Wild Card round, it's not hard to see how the fresher teams will benefit.

One way MLB will attempt to bridge this gap is by playing doubleheaders, and lots of them. Yesterday, MLB announced that these doubleheaders would be shortened to 7 innings per game. In a season when every game matters 2.7 times as much as a normal regular season game, the commissioner thought it would be a good idea to reduce a seemingly random number of those games by 22%, thus making a victory in a 7-inning contest worth more than a sweep of a 3-game series in a typical year. Think about that for a moment. Now wrap your head around the fact that not every team will play the same number of doubleheaders. The Yankees (who already have to make up missed games against the Phillies) will likely coast into the playoffs while playing less cumulative innings than each of the AL Central and AL West teams. I'm sure that won't help their pitching staff in October in any way, shape, or form because, you know, I was born yesterday.

As a Red Sox fan, I have to throw this selfish disclaimer out there: I hope it doesn't end tomorrow. In fact, I really hope the season continues for at least another month or so. For one, I enjoy watching MLB games and playing fantasy baseball again. But that's not the main reason why I want MLB to pull the metaphorical band aid off slowly, rather than ripping it off quickly. I'm particularly invested in seeing the 2020 MLB season make it to September so that the financial restrictions resulting from the 2019 luxury tax don't carry over into this offseason. Apparently, if the season gets canceled before the August 31st trade deadline, the CBT penalties from last year will remain in place for the upcoming offseason. Basically, the whole "reason" Boston traded Mookie would still be looming over Chaim Bloom's head for another full season. How convenient that MLB decides to impose this extra little nuance when Boston was the only franchise to exceed the 2019 luxury tax threshold. Does anyone else get the sense that the Red Sox are being singled out in this regard?

MLB is literally making up the rules as they go along, and it reeks of desperation. If this farce of a season does end up lasting all the way to the end, the last team standing should get plastic rings with cubic zirconia in lieu of diamonds. By my calculations, they will have earned 0.37 of a championship, and I will personally consider any fan wearing any "2020 WORLD CHAMPIONS" apparel more disgraceful than an Astros fan rocking 2017 gear.