In a normal year the MLB season would be just around the corner at this date, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, baseball is on a hiatus of unknown length. This delay in the season impacts many in the world of baseball, including players, managers and even broadcasters
Rangers broadcaster Dave Raymond joined The Musers on Sportsradio 96.7 FM/1310 The Ticket [KTCK-AM] to discuss how he’s handling MLB’s hiatus, and what the Rangers season might look like when, or if, it resumes.
Here are some of the highlights of their conversation.
The Musers: Have you also been getting better sleep than ever during all this, because we have.
Dave Raymond: “It’s funny you should say that because I have done the same thing. I think it’s because there’s a little fatalistic viewpoint that we’re all taking, at this point. None of us really knows what tomorrow brings in this nonsense.
“I think there’s probably a sense that we’re all along for the ride, so it’s hard to stress out about work or answering that next email. We’ve got a lot bigger concerns right now.
“In the weirdest of ways it’s like life has been really simplified for all of us…”
Musers: What do you think the 2020 baseball season ultimately will look like?
Raymond: “That’s the big question… I think it’s a really long shot that you’re talking about a 162 game schedule. That’s all but gone. Initially when they said ‘oh two-week delay,’ I thought it was probably more like a two-month delay.
“Even with that you know that in these sorts of situations you’re just trying to keep it positive. So you’re probably over-selling it there.
“So it’s going to have a truncated season, and we haven’t had a ton of those in the history of the game, but it’s not uncommon. There are precedents; we’ve seen it.
“At this point I think everything is on the table, and I mean everything, including playing much deeper into the fall than we’re used to. The schedule was supposed to end on September 27. It seems like we add a round of playoffs every year.
“It might be a year where the season itself goes deeper, maybe into mid to late October. Maybe lop off a little bit of the playoffs.”
Musers: Could you do that in places where it gets that cold in October?
Raymond: “I think that’s why you’ve got to consider doing something with the postseason. If you’re going to stretch the season a week or two deeper into October, you necessarily have to cut down the postseason. Then it becomes a question of what do you value more.
“Do you go on a 120-game schedule and go for the full playoffs, or do a 140-game schedule and take a couple of rounds out. I really believe that as of this moment they have no idea. They’re throwing things out.
“They’re going through hypotheticals, but I think that this is a little like September 11 where you’re just circling the wagons figuring out when do we get back, and how do we approach this. I don’t think they’re going to leave any stone unturned.
“I think they’re going to consider everything. Imagine you’re the Dodgers, and you traded for Mookie Betts. What are you getting out of Mookie Betts this year? And how much do you pay the guys? Do you pay them their annual salaries or does it get cut back based on the percentage of games? …
“So there’s a lot to consider.”
The Rangers season is still likely months away, and Texas has several things to figure out before the MLB season resumes. Several players like Isiah Kiner-Falefa had created solid momentum for themselves in spring training. The hiatus brings more uncertainty for players like him, fighting for a consistent role.
A shortened season, like Raymond suggested might happen, could prove beneficial for the Rangers according to one projection.
Whatever does happen, the only certainty is that the 2020 MLB season will happen at a slightly different time than a normal season. What happens when it starts, at this point, is still anyone’s guess.