Forgive me, Commissioner, for I have been a doubter, but here we are, having a post season after the weirdest “season” on record. And yes, I am eating it up. 2020 is already assured of being one of the strangest years in the history of years, all things considered, but let me quickly go on record as being totally mortified that ABC, still a low grade outfit after all these years, had the poor taste and undignified crassness to interrupt the ninth inning of a crucial major league playoff game just to give us a “special report” about the health of a third rate television star. That was disgusting.
The Miami Marlins are already the story of the year. I have to admit, I have fancied myself a serious follower of the sport for a number of years now, but I cannot rattle off the names of the Marlins roster with any confidence. Now I know about Sixto Sanchez and Garrett Cooper and Lewis Brinson and some others but, especially after Covid 19 set them back early on, none of us was really giving these guys any kind of chance even with the expanded playoff scheme.
Another interesting team among the also rans was the San Francisco Giants. I had figured that they were probably good for 19 wins in their 60 game schedule and there they were contending right up to the end and finishing 29-31. Credit Gabe Kapler and his extensive crew of modern coaches for putting together a credible offense from the unlikely collection of veterans like Brandon Belt, Donovan Solano, Mike Yastrzemski, and Alex Dickerson along with youngsters like Mauricio Dubon and Joey Bart. The Toronto Blue Jays, in their newly adopted city of Buffalo, New York, and the St. Louis Cardinals were also very pleasant examples of teams overcoming extreme difficulty to salvage a memorable season.
Since almost no one was able to attend any of the games in person, we were all subjected to viewing games on television whether or not we could ever actually afford to buy tickets. This meant, of course, being deluged with an endless repetitive cycle of the same tired advertising to make us feel small and stupid. Who could have predicted that so many rejects from comedy writing schools would eventually find gainful employment writing ads for insurance companies? Hankook Tires, however, repeats with the most insulting ad award for the excessively lame bit featuring Clayton Kershaw demonstrating unsafe, irresponsible driving combined with illogic fit for a presidential speech writer.
The rule innovations introduced in this short season were all bad for the game but MLB continues to seek new fans among the casual, bored potential sports fans out there who might also be amused by watching hunting on roller skates. Runner on second to start extra innings? Well, I had hoped that it might help bring back bunting but no chance I guess. Universal designated sitter? It is no doubt time for folks like me to give up on fighting this . Okay, zoomer, I guess I’d just as soon watch some fat guy work the count to three and two, foul a few off and then strike out instead of watching some poor bastard pitcher who never got trained on the sacrifice pop out. The three batter minimum on relievers? Makes absolutely no difference.
It’s a new game in many ways but it’s still the best one going. The passing these last few weeks of two of the icons of an era gone by must be noted with true respect. Lou Brock and Bob Gibson were a pair of real winners in every sense of the word. The memories are all good with those two, and may they rest in peace.